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DON BRAUTIGAM (1946-2008)

During his career as a successful commercial illustrator, talented American artist Don Brautigam produced thousands of published works. His clever style and keen instincts for terror enabled him to remain in high demand throughout his lengthy career. His most important works have adorned the literary catalogs of best-selling authors like Stephen King, Dean Koontz and Robin Cook. No less impressive were Brautigam's contributions to the music industry – particularly the genres of hard rock and heavy metal.Fresh off a critical string of publications for Stephen King, Brautigam was commissioned to design a cover illustration for the 1986 Metallica record Master of Puppets. The brutal spirit of this landmark album would not only catapult Metallica into another stratosphere financially, it would cement the band's legacy as pioneers in heavy music. Their success, however, was not exclusive to their blistering style of music alone. The Four Horsemen could have easily pointed a stiff finger in appreciation at Don Brautigam. It was his iconic imagery and branding that enabled Metallica to sell millions of records and other Master of Puppets merchandise. It wasn't long before other popular acts like Motley Crue, Anthrax and AC/DC would seek out his talented eye.Though Brautigam did not achieve worldwide notoriety like artists Boris Vallejo or Roger Dean, his impact on the art world was no less significant. Continuing to produce subversive and dark imagery well into the 21st century, Brautigam sadly passed away in 2008. Regardless, his powerful and brooding images can still be felt today – his works forever linked to successful legends like Anthrax, Metallica and Stephen King. Presented here are some of Brautigam's most noteworthy illustrations. Although many of these works remain uncredited by publishers, Blacktooth is working hard to validate whether these images were indeed created by Brautigam.