A Blood Artist: Axel Stocks

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. After the war, Axel and his mother moved to the US. In the 1960s, was psychedelicized by hippie guru “Wavy Gravy” (Hugh Nanton Romney Jr), whereupon Axel took up making psychedelic jewelry of a Gothic sort. Soon thereafter, he was introduced to Salvador Dali, who was 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.

While Axel made jewelry, eventually selling rings to Keith Richards and Lady Gaga, among others, he also created a body of at least a hundred blood paintings, taking his inspiration directly from Dali.

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 and it has received “Honorable Mention” at the 2021 Video Art and Experimental Film Festival.