A Blood Artist is a short documentary about Axel Stocks (1946-2016), who was born to a Jewish woman in a displaced persons camp immediately after the Second World War. Her husband, a Jew, and her whole family, had already been exterminated. She was forced to have sex with the Nazis to survive and Axel was born of that union, an issue which was to trouble him for all his days. After the war, Axel and his mother moved to New Jersey and she re-married. In the 1960s, Axel was psychedelicized by hippie guru “Wavy Gravy” (Hugh Nanton Romney Jr), whereupon Axel took up making gothic-psychedelic jewelry. Soon after, Axel was introduced to Salvador Dali, then living at the St. Regis Hotel in Manhattan. Dali took an interest in Axel and asked about his life. When Axel related his life story, Dali pronounced that, from then on, Axel was to paint in his own blood. Axel did so until he died, though not from blood loss. Over 40 years, Axel created at least a hundred blood paintings, taking his inspiration directly from Dali’s riff on his heritage.
A Blood Artist was shot and interrogated by Jeffrey Wengrofsky, cut to ribbons by Chris Bréal, and sautéed in onions by The Brickbats (Corey Gorey, D.W. Friend, Gregjaw, and the ghost of Paul Morden).
A Blood Artist is the subject of an article in Trebuchet Magazine, its received “Honorable Mention” at the 2021 NYC Video Art and Experimental Film Festival, and it was featured at the Lower East Side Festival of the Arts on Saturday, May 23, 2022, at Theater for the New City (155 1st Ave., NYC).