Artist Till Gerhard Paints Creepier-Than-Usual Rolling Stones Concert

Till Gerhard's (2008) Photo: Courtesy of Stellan Holm Gallery


German artist Till Gerhard has a taste for mining the spookier regions of America's sixties counterculture, and in the 1969 Rolling Stones concert at Altamont Speedway — where the Hells Angels went on a rampage, fatally stabbing one audience member — he has hit upon a particularly juicy subject. Painting scenes from the Maysles brothers' seminal documentary Gimme Shelter, he recasts the show as a Teutonic rite with Mick Jagger as the strutting shaman and the long-haired crowd as his pagan followers. In this context the death seems less like rock and roll and more like human sacrifice. At Stellan Holm Gallery through June 28. —Andrew M. Goldstein