American Gothic

In this provocative horror tale by acclaimed photographer Carlos Batts, an old farmer struggles with his crime of passion and the consequences and his iconic fate.

In 1930, Grant Wood won a painting competition with his masterpiece, American Gothic. Although it's considered to be a visual satire on rural American Life, perhaps the story goes deeper than canvas.
In this provocative horror tale by acclaimed photographer, Carlos Batts, we see a different interpretation of a rural American family on the 75th anniversary of Wood's painting, American Gothic. Batts paints his own story and invites us into a world where the old farmer struggles with his crime of passion, the consequences and his iconic fate. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but this painting's story will leave you speechless.

American Gothic
Written and Directed by Carlos Batts
25 minute short
128 page Graphic Novel and CD
Press Quotes:

The strangest interpretation of Grant Wood's work that I have ever encountered.
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Curator, Jane Milosch

That wonderful brave balance of grimness and playfulness that the early Tim Burton had with Frankenweenie and Edward Scissorhands.
Penny Blood, Greg Reifsteck

Go deep into some twisted mind where bone marrow and some other wicked looking shit walks the line between beaty and the beast.
URB Magazine
A lovely treat for fans of extreme and experimental horror
eros-zine, Thomas S. Roche



American Gothic, and the Birth of the New

Madness and genius collide in American Gothic, photographer-filmmaker-artist Carlos Batts' answer to Grant Wood's famous 1930 portrait of the same name: that granite-faced, pitchfork-totin' embodiment of what this country was three-quarters of a century ago.

In this limited edition mixed-media DVD that has a 128 page experimental photography book as a bonus collectors graphic novel. Batts tortures the negative itself to bring forth frenzied, expressionistic hybrids of horror and beauty. Published in limited edition hardcover by Scapegoat Press (, American Gothic is Batts ' third book and DVD are the one most reflective of the artist himself. To be certain, Batts' previous efforts for the German publisher Edition Reuss, Wild Skin and Crazy Sexy Hollywood, were distinguished by a unique, readily-identifiable style, one that's proved immensely popular here and overseas. But in both books there is always the sense that the artist is giving us exactly what we as voyeurs want. American Gothic , on the other hand, is Batts' pure, unadulterated artistic vision, one not tweaked for the mass-market or meant to satisfy bourgeois tastes.

Batts' work is well-known in the worlds of rock, fetish and fashion and admired by discerning, risk-taking gallerist, such as Merry Karnowsky of Los Angeles' Merry Karnowsky Gallery. However, with American Gothic, Batts is bursting onto the art scene with a tour de force reminiscent of when Robert Mapplethorpe and Andres Serrano first shook the world with their controversial imagery. Following in the photographic footsteps of these innovators, Batts has created an oeuvre impossible to ignore, one that burrows into your cranium and devours your preconceptions of what art and photography are all about. Like seeing a David Lynch film for the first time or a painting by Egon Schiele, the tectonic plates of the possible will shift as you leaf through this book. Afterwards, nothing will be the same. Here is the yardstick by which to measure art. Here is the birth of the new.

The book also comes with a nine track CD from bands that Carlos has done artwork for, featuring Mastodon, Pg. 99, Swarm of the Lotus, Pig Destroyer and more. Many tracks never released on CD! With an introduction from John Gilmore (author of books on Charles Manson, Black Dahlia, James Dean, and multiple novels), The DVD Features, 25 minute short film, Director's Introduction, Photo Gallery, Three Bonus Short Films: Puppadere, Choke, Clone