A couple of weeks ago, I stopped to gaze into the window of Magnolia Bakery in midtown while en route to the NBC Studios to attend a taping of that week’s Saturday Night Live (Host: Rami Malek). What a delight it was to see this tiered Halloween-themed cake right up front. So scary cute! Whatever your plans (or lack thereof ), have a safe and enjoyable Halloween!
Clutter Magazine Booth Display (All Photos By Gail / Jamie)
I feel no shame admitting that I had stuffed animals on my bed into my thirties. Despite being a grown adult with a day job, I still love and collect toys, and I especially have a sick fetish for Designer Art Toys. This is why the annual Five Points Festival is my jam. Thanks to this awesome blog, I was able to score press passes once again to this year’s Five Points Fest, which took place the first weekend in June. Since Geoffrey is no longer on-the-scene, so to speak, I brought along my photographer and Partner in Squee, Jamie, and we spent about 5 or 6 hours trawling through hundreds of tiny toys and using the words “Cute” and “Adorable” about one hundred million billion times, each. Just being serious. While many designer toys are limited editions that can sell for hundreds of dollars, it is also possible find dozens of captivating art toys at Five Points Fest that can be yours for as little as $10 each. Please enjoy my photos of some of the toys that we found to be most squee-worthy, and you will see how easy it can be to build an affordable toy collection that adds joy to your life.
With Halloween falling on a Tuesday this year, holiday enthusiasts were able to enjoy three solid days of spooky-themed parties and events, which were happening all over the city this past weekend. Halloween in New York City: there is really nothing like it. I’m not much for dressing up, but I do love a good adventure, and this year Geoffrey and I had the most fun ever, at the Night of 1,000 Jack O’Lanterns, which had a three-night run on Governor’s Island state park — which is about 10 minutes by ferry from the southern tip of Manhattan. I’d never been there before, so I was pretty excited to see something new. Adventure time!
This is the view of the lower Manhattan skyline in the Financial District, as seen from the island. It is very breathtaking, as you can see. To give you a little background on the park, in 1776, during the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783), troops raised defensive works on the island, which they used to fire upon British ships before they were taken. From 1783 to 1966, the island was a US Army post, and later, from 1966 to 1996, the island served as a major US Coast Guard installation. There are historic buildings all over and at night it looks like you are wandering around one of those abandoned mental institutions where they do the ghost hunting shows. Very Scary!
The Jack O’ Lantern trail features more than 1,000 illuminated pumpkins, carved by artists from around the tri-state area, set along a festive, paved, tree-lined pathway among the backdrop of centuries-old buildings. The more ornately carved Jack O’ Lanterns are staged on raised pedestals, and the smaller pumpkins help to light the footpath. It looks pretty cool!
Please enjoy a selection of my favorite photos, which I have grouped together in categories, just because. Let’s get to the Pumpkins OK?
Monsters and Horror Movies and Halloween Iconography
Vincent Price as a Vampire
HP Lovecraft Creation, The Cthulhu
Frankenstein’s Monster and his Bride
Here on the left we have Its‘ Pennywise the Clown as portrayed by actor Bill Skarsgard, and I’m not sure what is on the right. What did not quite make it into the frame is one of the featured artists, who was talking to visitors about what tools he uses to carve the designs and that sort of thing. That was fun.
Jack Skellington the Pumpkin King
Here are some spooky trees that I am throwing in the mix as a palate cleanser.
Halloween’s Original Bad Boy, Michael Myers
Of course it wouldn’t be Halloween without some Day of the Dead Skull Action.
Fairy Tales and Kid-friendly Characters
The Wicked Queen, Snow White and The Poison Apple
Celebrities and Pop Culture
Game of Thrones
Of course, it would not be as spooky and Halloween-themed if the Jack O’ Lanterns did not also pay tribute to recently departed celebrities. There were some really good ones!
Adam West as TV’s Batman
Mother and Daughter Actresses Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher passed away just one apart in December of 2016. Unbelievably sad. This pumpkin was a beautiful tribute to two very talented ladies.
While it’s too late for you to make it to this year’s walk, why not bookmark This Link right now, so you can be sure to not miss next year’s Night of 1,000 Jack O’Lanterns!
Do you like Monsters? I sure do. But you know who really loves Monsters? Artist Chet Zar; Chet Zarloves 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!
Do you like Monsters? I sure do. And one thing I know is that artist Chet Zar likes to paint Monsters, and no one does that better than him.
Chet Zar’s monsters are the stuff that the very best nightmares are made of, which is why it makes sense that he has worked as a make-up and effects specialist for the horror film industry, and has also been involved with videos for bands like Tool, whom I am sure you will agree have produced some fucked up videos.
Through July 3rd, 2015, Last Rites Gallery is hosting Chet Zar’s latest exhibit, The Demon Show, which is a must-see for all fans of horror and dark pop surrealist art.
These are so great.
I think the guy on the left in the above photo is one of my favorites. I can imagine him in a movie.
If you are an art collector, or even just a wanna-be collector fan, who thinks you could never afford art this amazing, I am now going to tell you that you are incorrect. These paintings have a price point that is very accessible. While I am not sure if that bad ass tentacled-skull frame is included, even if that cost extra, it would be worth it. Maybe you would not want to hang one of these guys over your bed, but then again why not keep your dreamscape interesting?
Chet Zar’s The Demon Show will be on Exhibit Through July 3rd, 2015 at Last Rites Gallery, Located at 325 West 38th Street (Between 8th and 9th Aves) in NYC.
Do you like Monsters? I sure do. If you have young kids who enjoy using your Apple devices and are looking for a fun iPad or iPhone App that you can download for your little ones to keep themselves amused (and maybe have fun playing it yourself) I recommend Monsterpark Zoo, a new children’s game, just released on October 15th.
Monsterpark Zoo was created by Brooklyn-based husband and wife team Eric and Shannon Althin, who are also fine artists and gallerists (being owners of the late great Bold Hype Gallery, which we miss very much). Eric and Shannon’s company, Roo Roo Games, previously released the popular title, Stumpy’s Alphabet Dinner. We expect that Monsterpark Zoo may become even pore popular!
Eric Althin offers that the couple’s 3 year old daughter was the inspiration behind Monsterpark Zoo. “She loves monsters and animals,” he explains, “and if she sees that someone is sad, she always wants to know how to make them happy again. During a trip to the Brooklyn Zoo it all fell into place and we knew we had our next game concept: Monster zoo animals that need help to make them happy!”
Monsterpark Zoo takes place in a friendly monster world, featuring 10 unique zoo monsters with different troubles. Some need food, some require a bath, while others need their enclosures cleaned. It is up to the player — who assumes the role of the Zoo Keeper — to figure it all out through fun, intuitive, and stress free game play!
This Monster Needs a Bath!
Monsterpark Zoo is designed to encourage problem solving, emotional development, coordination, and laughter! It is aimed at ages 2-6 but is sure to delight kids of all ages. “I’ve been drawing monsters since I was old enough to hold a crayon,” Althin continues, “so designing all the different monster animals for Monsterpark Zoo was a super fun and creatively rewarding process.
Our ambition is to keep updating the game with new monsters in the future (with no additional cost for the parents) to keep things fresh and fun.” We already have some awesome new characters in mind!
Download Monsterpark Zoo for just $1.99 from the iTunes Store at This Link!