‘It’s Alive!’: The Kirk Hammett Collection Delivers Beautiful Horror and Sci-Fi Art

‘It’s Alive!’: The Kirk Hammett Collection Delivers Beautiful Horror and Sci-Fi Art

July 15, 2019 0 By Jeff Fountain

Opening this past Saturday, July 13th, ‘It’s Alive!’ is an exhibit that horror and sci-fi enthusiasts will not want to miss. Made up mainly of old school posters from the past, celebrating all things sci-fi and horror, it is a wonderful look at how artists used color, shading, and light to make posters a real thing of beauty.

Besides the posters, there is also a collection of toys, props, and clothing, used in films and worn by the famous actors from that helped bring these movies alive. A nice collection of Kirk Hammett’s horror-themed guitars is also on display, as is a short video with him, talking about why he became a collector and what it all means to him.

“Horror and sci-fi are among the most versatile, dynamic and enduring genres of cinema,” says Josh Basseches, ROM Director & CEO. “Acting as a mirror for societal fears, these films and the accompanying artwork reflect the collective cultural anxieties of the time. This evocative exhibition deepens our understanding of the evolution of cinema art and its relationship to culture.”

Each section of the exhibition uses poster art to convey underlying anxieties of particular eras, including the fear of mortality around the Great Depression of the 1930s; scientific progress in the mid-20th century; the fear of invasion and espionage post-1945; and the rise of feminism in the 1960s.

“Like the films they promote, these pieces are important metaphors for the issues of the times in which they were created,” says Arlene Gehmacher, ROM Curator of Canadian Paintings, Prints & Drawings. “Some of the posters are riveting. They can provoke, excite, and enthrall, reflecting but also shaping the visible and psychological fears of an individual, community, or nation.”

Kirk Hammett, guitarist for the heavy rock band Metallica, one of the biggest and most successful bands in the last twenty-five years, has dedicated the last three decades to creating one of the world’s most important cinema-art collections and credits it as a primary source of inspiration for his own musical creativity.

“I got into the business of collecting horror, which is really not a business at all, a long time ago. I think it’s become my midnight calling or maybe my lifetime obsession. I guess some would say obsession, some may say occupation and others would say it’s just plain insanity,” says Kirk Hammett. “It is very exciting for me to have Toronto be the second stop on our quest to bring my collection to everyone who is genuinely interested in these horror movie posters, props, and memorabilia. Canada is a great country, Toronto is an amazing city, and I’m honored to be able to start crossing borders with my collection at the Royal Ontario Museum.”

t’s Alive! Classic Horror and Sci-Fi Art from the Kirk Hammett Collection is a separately ticketed exhibition. ROM Members enjoy free admission and exclusive opportunities to experience ROM exhibitions and programs. For ticket information, visit: https://www.rom.on.ca/en/exhibitions-galleries/exhibitions/its-alive-classic-horror-and-sci-fi-art-from-the-kirk-hammett-0

The exhibit runs from July 13th, 2019 until Jan 5th, 2020