Visual Violence: Legendary Underground Music Promoter Rich Hall Brings the Heavy to Fine Arts Gallery Show

It’s difficult to overstate the impact Rich Hall has had on heavy underground music.

For more than a quarter century the Queens-raised promotor brought innovative, dissonant hardcore bands to the masses booking at CBGBs, Santos Party House, and beyond via his 1000knives promotion company as well as doing A&R, merch and radio work for independent companies such as Ferret, Revelation Records, Trustkill, MIA Records, Victory Records, Century Media/Abacus, BandMerch and Bravado.

Fewer are aware, however, that Hall also attended The School of Art and Design & The School of Visual Arts in New York City.

That’s about to change.

Hall’s stunning, kinetic, iconoclastic paintings have moved to the fore — first on Etsy and in the pages of the amazing books Anxious Machines and Bountiful Exuberance — and now at an upcoming Talk Gallery show which promises to hit as hard as In Flames blowing the doors off CBGBs in the mid-90s. (Thank you, Rich fuckin’ Hall!)

To celebrate next month’s opening, Hall — who currently resides in Tacoma, Washington with his wife, Carrie, and son, Cillian — provided Decibel a sneak preview of two show pieces with a few thoughts about each…


“I got really back into comics,” Hall says. “My go-to artist to feed vibes off is Jack ‘The King’ Kirby often when I look at his work. I just get so jazzed up by all the great little nooks and crannys of abstract art tucked away in one graphic piece. I want to replicate that feeling with this piece. Wanted to make one ominous form with some great little mini pieces in hidden in it.


“I have an ATAT in my studio,” Hall says. “I love ATAT’s, proud Star Wars/toy nerd here! Usually, it’s standing up and being shown so proudly. One day it was just in this position where it just looks so…demented. I had to use it in a painting. Luckily I hadn’t started it and just drew its form onto canvas. It took life real quick. Felt crazy and weird as it took shape. It spiraled into what I wanted.”

Oh, and check out this rad Dadguy shirt ahead of Father’s Day…