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Confessions of a Teenage Satanist by Shellie Lewis

January 22, 2011


Confessions of a Teenage Satanist by Shellie Lewis

Acrylics and metallic wall paint on canvas, 24” x 36” [61 x 91.4 cm]

If anything was a major bummer about being a teenager in the 1980s through the early 1990s, it was that myself and my nerdy friends were playing Dungeons & Dragons at the same time my local police precinct was circulating brochures about the suspicious nature of my cultist hobby.  The police were picking up their information from hysterical Christian groups.  The manager at the nearest Denny’s hated our collective coffee drinking guts.  I spent a lot of time painting little dragons and elves, and that shit was made of pure lead.  Worse, I was never lead down the primrose path to Satanism or any other cult, despite all of the colored dice I bought, and this was counter-intuitive to the raving hysterics of pamphlets being distributed by Christian groups.  The descendants of these pamphleteers would go on to having hissy fits over school children reading Harry Potter fantasy novels. 

                          I have more than one old pamphlet, so guess what? Sequel.

I have had the Confessions pamphlet for ages.  I still love these freaking pamphlets; each pamphlet is its own little fantasy novel, and the vintage 1980s pamphlets definitely constitute a Golden Age of wacky anxieties.  The Confessions cover art pre-dates digital image manipulation, so the creators had to mess with a photograph’s negative to make a close up of a skinny teenage boy look menacing.  The font is likewise from the age of analog, so someone probably had to hand draw the whole title and make it look Heavy Metal to boot.  I reproduced the text as well as I was able to.  I was able to try a new kind of paint with this work, and I will do a write up on the paint in the future. 

Confessions of a Teenage Satanist the pamphlet was created to convince you that there was such a thing as a teenage Satanist, lurking undiscovered in your midst as a hidden menace; but now that I’m older I’m pretty sure that any sufficiently frustrated parent or teacher will attest that all teenagers are from hell.   

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