Tag Archive | Dark Art

Chet Zar Documentry, I Like to Paint Monsters, to Be Released on March 8th, 2016!

Chet Zar ILTPM

Do you like Monsters? I sure do. But you know who really loves Monsters? Artist Chet Zar; Chet Zar loves Monsters. But more specifically, he loves to paint Monsters.

After a four-year intensive labor of love, Director Mike Correll is ready to release Chet Zar: I Like to Paint Monsters; the definitive documentary on this compelling artist. The DVD now has an official street date of March 8, 2016, with iTunes rental date still to be announced.

Here is a peak inside what this exciting film has in store:

Enter the dark and foreboding world of Chet Zar, where apocalyptic industrial landscapes are inhabited by disturbing yet beautiful monstrosities. Sometimes gruesome, periodically funny, but always thought-provoking, Zar’s art is as enigmatic as it is frightening. But who is Chet Zar, and why does he like to paint monsters? These are the questions at the heart of this new documentary.

Chet Zar is an influential figure in the Dark Art Movement, and, given his chosen moniker “Painter of Dark,” this is no surprise. Born in 1967 in San Pedro, California, Zar was well known as the family prankster. With a passion for horror films, an innate urge to create bizarre artwork, and a superhuman work ethic, Zar seemed to be made for the special effects industry. During his time with the film industry, he designed and created creatures and makeup effects for such films as Darkman, The Ring, Hellboy and Hellboy II, and Planet of the Apes.

Even more well-known is his work with the band Tool, contributing to both their music videos and their on-stage theatrical animations. Despite his success in the film industry, Zar became disenchanted by the artistic compromises required of him. In early 2000, with the support of his family and horror author Clive Barker, Zar decided to enter the business of fine art, and pursue his passion for monsters by painting them.

Chet Zar: I Like to Paint Monsters offers an opportunity to take a journey into the mind and life of Chet Zar. Become acquainted with his thoughts, motivations, and reflections of the past as well as his projections of the future. Delve into his experiences in the film industry, his transition from early special effects into the world of computer animation, and, ultimately, his evolution into the distinctive artist he is today.

In addition to the eighty minute feature documentary, Correll and Zar have worked hand in hand with First Run Features to include much more, such as: Extended Interrogations, Chopping Block: Deleted Scenes, Rogue’s Gallery: The Art of Chet Zar, Behind the Scenes Featurette, Time-Lapses: The Creation of Six Chet Zar Paintings, and the Official Trailer — for 120 minutes total runtime! The documentary is in english, but is open to all regions, so it can be enjoyed worldwide. You can preorder your copy of Chet Zar: I Like to Paint Monsters for just $24.95 at Amazon.com!

Sacred Gallery Presents Re-Thrifted

Rethrifted Elephant Sculpture
All Photos By Gail

The idea of “repurposing” — taking something old and giving it a new life — is an exciting concept that creates a world of possibilities. Sacred Gallery explores those possibilities (with an inclination towards the darker side of imagination and reality) with a highly amusing new group exhibit entitled Re-Thrifted. To create Re-Thrifted more than two dozen artists started with Thrift Store art finds and recreated the original piece as a new work of art. There are both paintings and sculptures in the exhibit and it was so much fun to view the show and compare the new artworks to their more humble beginnings, as many of the pieces are hung alongside tiny prints showing the pieces that inspired their genesis.

Cherubs and Rosie
Three Cherubs Get a Visit from The Jetson’s Rosie the Robot

Virgin Leia
Virgin Leia

An excellent example of this type of work in its simplest form is Virgin Leia, a kitschy painting of the Virgin Mary recreated as a portrait of Princess Leia from Star Wars. Appropriate!

Renaissance Undead

Above, a group of picnicking Renaissance children become flesh-eating members of the Undead.

Parisian Street Scene with Pop Culture Icons

The painting above features a picturesque Parisian Street Cafe that has been infused with images from pop culture, turning it into a surreal nightmare. Check out some of the cool details from this work in the shots below.

Walter White
Walter White from Breaking Bad

Penny Wise The Clown
Pennywise The Clown Peering from the Sewer

Zombies Plus Michael

Note that this Herd of Zombies includes Michael Jackson as he appeared in the Video for “Thriller.” So clever! If this awesome painting wasn’t already sold I would have snapped it up in a heartbeat!

Demon Statue

What was once an angelic choirboy has transformed into a demonic embodiment of the proverbial principle to “See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil.”

Drag In Dragon

A menacing, medieval Dragon invades an otherwise idyllic forest scene in this painting by the artist Gothic Hangman.

You can tell that the participating artists were very inspired and that everybody had a blast creating their art for Re-Thrifted. Kudos to Kevin Wilson at Sacred Gallery for hosting yet another very cool show!

The Re-Thrifted Group Exhibit is on Display only Through November 3oth, 2013 at Sacred Gallery, Located at 424 Broadway, 2nd Floor (Between Howard and Canal Streets), so be sure to add it to your list of “Must See Art” while you can!

Re-Thrifted Exhibit Invite

Last Rites Gallery Presents Lilith by Sarah Joncas

Towards the end of what had been a nearly-perfect day, filled with sunny weather, gallery hopping and parties of every sort, Geoffrey and I continued our revelry with a later-than-usual pit stop at one of our very favorite art spots, Last Rites Gallery, which was hosting an opening bash for their current exhibit by Toronto-based artist Sarah Joncas. While I was not familiar with Sarah’s body of work prior to attending the opening on Saturday night, I was blown away by the talent of this beautiful and highly prolific 24 year old painter. Entitled Lilith, the series of oil on canvas portraiture on view at Last Rites might strike some as a gothic/horror take on traditional Romance Novel cover Heroines, and that’s certainly a suitable point of departure. But Sarah’s work, I think, goes a bit deeper. Sarah explains a bit about the show and her inspiration behind the new series below.

“Given the opportunity to go darker with this show, I chose to go full force in celebrating the original femme fatale, Lilith – not necessarily as a direct allegorical reference, but more so for what she represents. According to Jewish Mythology, Lilith is considered to be the true 1st wife of Adam, though her unwillingness to submit caused her to rebel from Eden in search of her own dark path. As such, she’s been written as the temptress, the mysterious and the devil. Taking from fairytale and folklore inspirations, much of my work for this show borders on the fantastical, indulging and sometimes turning other mythological females into similar demoniac beings. Though working with a relatively more aggressive theme than usual, I’ve kept the melancholic and pensive tone that my work is most well known for.”

Geoffrey and I got to meet Sarah at the party and she was super cool and signed cards for us. She is obviously a gifted artist with a long and exciting career ahead of her. Check out the show while you can!

See more pictures from the show at According 2 G Dot Com.

Sarah Joncas’ Lilith Runs through June 5, 2011 at Last Rites Gallery, Located at 511 West 33rd Street, 3rd Floor (West of 11th Ave) in NYC. Gallery Hours are Tues-Sat 2-9 PM and Sun 2-6 PM.

Last Rites Gallery Presents Michael Mararian's Snow White


Snow White Grows Up (Image Source)

One of my favorite artists, Michael Mararian, has an awesome solo show, which opened last night and is currently running at Last Rites Gallery in NYC. Snow White features modern, Gothic-tinged interpretations of the famous fairytale princess and her seven dwarf companions as filtered through the artist’s darkly comic sensibilities. What adds to the delightful creep factor of these paintings is the fact that Mararian’s “Dwarves” are actually precocious children, some of which are mischievously participating in deviant or somewhat “adult” behavior (example: “Sleepy” is shown having passed out on the floor from an overdose of Absinthe). All eight images in the show can be viewed online at This Link, but are well worth seeing in person to appreciate the details, including finely drawn vintage wallpaper backgrounds that add great depth to select paintings. Michael was at the opening last night and it was cool to finally meet him after being a fan for years. He is super nice and I wish him great luck with this excellent new series.


Dopey

Michael Mararian’s Snow White Runs through March 12, 2011 at Last Rites Gallery, Located at 511 West 33rd Street (West of 11th Ave) in NYC. Gallery Hours are Tues-Fri 2-9pm, Sat 2-9pm, Sun 2-6pm.


Happy

Must See Art: Ray Caesar’s A Gentle Kind of Cruelty

Kingdom, By Ray Caesar

Fans of surrealist illustration will not want to miss the latest exhibit at Jonathan Levine Gallery in Chelsea, A Gentle Kind of Cruelty, featuring works by Toronto-based artist Ray Caesar. In this collection, according to the gallery’s press release, “Caesar expands upon his signature aesthetic by taking a more painterly approach, rendering new imagery with softer edges and greater movement than in previous work. The artist’s digitally created dreamscapes, set in elaborately furnished Rococo-style interiors, feature haunting doll-like female figures with delicate features and porcelain complexions. The hybrid characters, part-child-part-woman, some sprouting tails, tentacles and other animal appendages, all wear elaborate costumes that reference fashions of the past and often incorporate futuristic elements as well. Caesar works in Maya (a 3D modeling software used for digital animation effects in film and game industries), using it to create his figures as well as the virtual realms in which they exist.”


Silent Partner

The results of Caesar’s technique are really quite spectacular, and photos can’t possibly reveal the depth of detail in these illustrations, which appear almost 3-D and beg to be meticulously examined for their gift of revealing new, previously hidden aspects on each viewing. I couldn’t help but think of the work of Mark Ryden, another gifted contemporary surrealist, by way of comparison. Like Ryden, his work is haunting, dark and somewhat twisted, but also breathtakingly beautiful. As they say, every picture tells a story. I really loved the sense of texture and surface translucence in each scenario. This was my first exposure to Ray Caesar’s art and it has definitely piqued my interested in exploring his body of work. What a fun show! More pictures from this terrific exhibit, including one of the artist, are available at According 2 G Dot Com.

A Gentle Kind of Cruelty runs through February 19, 2011 at the Jonathan Levine Gallery, located at 529 West 20th Street, 9th Floor (West of 10th Avenue) in New York. Gallery Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 AM to 6 PM.

Consort Study