Thursday, March 24, 2011

Basil Gogos

Born to a Greek family living in Egypt, Basil was 16 years old when he and his family immigrated to the U.S. Interested in art from a young age, Gogos spent his early adult years working at various jobs and studying art periodically with the goal of eventually becoming a fine artist. Gogos attended several New York area schools including The National School of Design, The Phoenix School of Design and The School of Visual Arts. While attending the Art Students League of New York, Gogos had his greatest artistic growth studying with noted illustrator Frank J. Reilly. After winning a competition at the school sponsored by Pocket Books, Gogos began his professional career with the cover painting for a western paperback novel called Pursuit published in 1959.

During the 1960s, Basil Gogos provided a steady stream of illustrations for a variety of New York-based publications.[1] The majority of his work during this period was for men's adventure magazines for which he painted many scenes of World War II battles, jungle perils and crime as well as cheesecake portraits of beautiful women. However, Gogos' greatest impact as an illustrator was the work he did for Warren Publishing.
Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine, created by publisher James Warren and editor Forrest J Ackerman, premiered in 1958 and was aimed at young readers who were then discovering the classic horror films of the '30s and '40s on television. The magazine's covers were usually eye-catching close-ups of horror movie characters. Gogos' first work for Warren was the cover of Famous Monsters of Filmland #9 in 1960 featuring an impressionistic portrait of Vincent Price from House of Usher painted in shades of red, yellow and green. Over the next two decades, he created almost 50 covers for Famous Monsters, many of which have become iconic images of that period. Gogos also provided cover art for several other Warren magazines including Creepy, Eerie, Spaceman, Wildest Westerns and The Spirit.

Basil Gogos' Famous Monsters cover art featured most of the classic horror characters such as The Phantom of the Opera, Frankenstein's monster, Dracula, The Wolf Man, The Mummy, King Kong, Godzilla and The Creature from the Black Lagoon and popular horror actors like Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Vincent Price, Lon Chaney, Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. Gogos often captured his subjects in an array of vivid colors using a technique in which the artist imagined the character bathed in colors from multiple light sources. He enjoyed painting monsters more than most of his more conventional assignments because of the freedom he was given and because of the challenge of painting such unusual characters which he endeavoured to portray as both frightening and sympathetic.
In the late 1970s, Gogos gave up full time commercial illustration to devote himself more to his original goal of doing fine art. He produced personal art pieces in watercolor and other media, while earning his livelihood as a photo retoucher in the ad department of United Artists. While there, he also did occasional illustrations for movie posters. Gogos later moved into advertising where he produced presentation sketches and storyboards for commercials for a major ad agency.

Due to a resurgence of interest in classic horror films and collectibles, Gogos returned to the horror genre in the 1990s. During this time, new Gogos monster portraits appeared on trading cards, lithographs and the covers of Monsterscene magazine. He has also painted CD covers for rock stars Rob Zombie, The Misfits and Electric Frankenstein.
In 2005 Vanguard Productions published the coffee table book, Famous Monster Movie Art of Basil Gogos (edited by Kerry Gammill and J. David Spurlock) and in 2006 Gogos received The Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards' special Monster Kid Hall of Fame award for his contributions to the field of classic horror.[2]

Monday, March 21, 2011

Carlos Huante

Carlos Huante was born in East L.A. in 1965 to Carlos, Sr. and Amada Huante, the third of four children. From the very get out of the womb, the arts were in him. Both his parents were from creative families, one conservative and predominantly musical, the other eccentric and intuitively creative in everything from drawing to music to costume-making. With his father keeping Carlos' interests in the sciences and the real world, his mother enjoyed the fantastic, which included monster movies.

Carlos' first grade class was given a course in Mexican mask-making. This first experience with clay was all it took for Carlos to realize how much he liked it, and how much other people enjoyed him doing it. They photographed him and his first sculpt for the local East Los Angeles paper.

His interest in music grew side-by-side with his interest in art. He received awards for music and art during his grade-school years, so his focus on a career as an artist (illustrator) did not become completely clear till he was faced with having to decide whether to go to a 5-year tech private high school or to a public high school where he could study what he pleased. He decided to attend the tech private school to study architecture, but as the school would have the final say as to which profession would best suit him, they decided to make Carlos a printer. After only one year he decided that this school was not for him.

His sophomore year Carlos enrolled at Schurr High School in Montebello, California, where he involoved himself with music. It wasn't until his junior year, when he saw the school's annual art show and noticed how serious some of the art students were about their art, that he decided to finally enter the school's art program. He received trophies and honorable mentions during his two years in the program, and some of his drawings were purchased by the school. He graduated from high school in 1983.

Carlos attended East Los Angeles College for a year. While taking night classes in life drawing at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, he met Mike Spooner, a successful illustrator and great draftsman, who worked at Filmation, an animation company. It was there, thanks to Mike Spooner, that Carlos started his career. Like most young artists, he started off as a runner...running lots of errands. A year later he was working as an artist in the Layout department, where he learned a lot about politics and a little about layout. More importantly he discovered there was a department devoted exclusively to designing characters, called the Models department, and that every animation company has one.

He left Filmation and started work as an assistant layout artist at the sister company to Hanna-Barbera, Ruby and Spears. There he worked under Cosmo Anzolotti and learned all about layout for animation. But Carlos still hadn't found what he was looking for. The next season Carlos landed a job as a character designer on the Ghostbusters animated series, a dream job. Carlos considers this the true beginning of his career.

After two years in the animation industry, Carlos realized that being an artist required more than just good drawing skills. The politics of the job were almost more than he could handle and after the Ghostbusters job ended he stopped pursuing art jobs and nearly quit the industry. Carlos held odd jobs off and on, more off than on, but never stopped drawing. Two years into what would become a three-year hiatus, Carlos met the love of his life, Monica Martinez. Carlos and Monica were wed a year later on June 2, 1989 and have been happily married ever since. Also in that time, Carlos' faith in Christ matured and he decided to commit his life, and has been a believer ever since. In the month of March of 1989, Carlos, inspired by the fact that he was about to be married, decided to give the animation industry another try, and ended right back on the Ghostbusters animated series. From that time forward he has worked incessantly, all over the animation and film industry. He's worked for Rick Baker, Rob Bottin, Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, Guillermo Del Torro and the very significant Chiodo Bros. who, through his new friend at the time (in 1992) Miles Tevez, gave Carlos his first live-action job.

Carlos' professional career in animation lasted for 8 years before he decided to jump with both legs into the film industry. Today Carlos works for Lucas Digital and is part of the creature development team.

Bio taken from Design Studio Press website

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Jason Edmiston

Bio: A commercial illustrator since 1996, Jason has created work for advertising, editorial, packaging, book publishing clients and galleries internationally. He is a traditional artist, painting in acrylic on watercolour paper or wood panel. His style ranges from realism to exaggeration, usually emphasizing the figure, and a certain degree of humour or caricature. Jason often emulates specific genres of illustration, such as movie posters, pulp covers or retro style advertising. His fondness for pop culture, especially movies and toys often creeps into his work.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

H.R. GIGER Biomechanics

Hans Rudolf "Ruedi" Giger (pronounced /ˈɡiːɡə(r)/; born February 5, 1940) is a Swiss surrealist painter, sculptor, and set designer. He won an Academy Award for Best Achievement for Visual Effects for his design work on the film Alien.[1]

Giger's style and thematic execution have been influential. His design for the Alien was inspired by his painting Necronom IV and earned him an Oscar in 1980. His books of paintings, particularly Necronomicon and Necronomicon II (1985) and the frequent appearance of his art in Omni magazine continued his rise to international prominence.[2] Giger is also well known for artwork on several records.
In 1998 Giger acquired the Château St. Germain in Gruyères, Switzerland, and it now houses the H. R. Giger Museum, a permanent repository of his work.[3]

Giger got his start with small ink drawings before progressing to oil paintings. For most of his career, Giger has worked predominantly in airbrush, creating monochromatic canvasses depicting surreal, nightmarish dreamscapes. However, he has now largely abandoned large airbrush works in favor of works with pastels, markers or ink.[2]
His most distinctive stylistic innovation is that of a representation of human bodies and machines in a cold, interconnected relationship, described as "biomechanical". His paintings often display fetishistic sexual imagery. His main influences were painters Ernst Fuchs and Salvador Dalí. He met Salvador Dalí, to whom he was introduced by painter Robert Venosa. He was also a personal friend of Timothy Leary. Giger suffers from night terrors and his paintings are all to some extent inspired by his experiences with that particular sleep disorder. He studied interior and industrial design at the School of Commercial Art in Zurich (from 1962 to 1970) and made his first paintings as a means of art therapy.[2]

In the 1960s and 1970s, Giger directed a number of films, including Swiss Made (1968), Tagtraum (1973), Giger's Necronomicon (1975) and Giger's Alien (1979).
Giger has created furniture designs, particularly the Harkonnen Capo Chair for a movie of the novel Dune that was to be directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky. Many years later, David Lynch directed the film, using only rough concepts by Giger. Giger had wished to work with Lynch,[5] as he states in one of his books that Lynch's film Eraserhead was closer to realizing his vision in film even than his own films.[2]
Giger has applied his biomechanical style to interior design. One "Giger Bar" sprang up in Tokyo, but the realization of his designs were a great disappointment to the artist, since the Japanese organization behind the venture did not wait for his final designs, but decided to barrel ahead with nothing more than Giger's rough preliminary sketches. For that reason, Giger disowned the Tokyo Giger Bar and never set foot in the place. Within a few years, the establishment was out of business.[citation needed] The two Giger Bars in his native Switzerland (in Gruyères and Chur), however, were built under Giger's close personal supervision and reflect his original concepts for them accurately. At The Limelight in Manhattan, Giger's artwork was licensed to decorate the VIP room, the uppermost chapel of the landmarked church, but it was never intended to be a permanent installation and bore no similarity to the real Giger Bars in Switzerland. The arrangement was terminated after two years when the Limelight closed its doors.[6] As of 2009 only the two authentic Swiss Giger Bars remain.
His art has greatly influenced tattooists and fetishists worldwide. Under a licensing deal Ibanez guitars released an H. R. Giger signature series: the Ibanez ICHRG2, an Ibanez Iceman, features "NY City VI", the Ibanez RGTHRG1 has "NY City XI" printed on it, the S Series SHRG1Z has a metal-coated engraving of "Biomechanical Matrix" on it, and a 4-string SRX bass, SRXHRG1, has "N.Y. City X" on it.[2]

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Kelley Jones

Kelley Jones (born July 23, 1962, in Sacramento, California) is an American comic book artist best known for his runs on Batman with writer Doug Moench and on Sandman with writer Neil Gaiman.

Jones, along with inker John Beatty, first collaborated with writer Moench on a series of Batman tales including Batman: Dark Joker the Wild and the vampire Batman trilogy beginning with Batman and Dracula: Red Rain. Both of these comics were very dark and moody, even for a Batman comic, crossing into horror. Batman fans were mixed as to Jones' run on the regular Batman book (1995–1998), some praising his dark and Gothic portrayal of Batman, and others thinking that his style was too radical. Going for style and mood over realism, Jones is known for drawing the ears on Batman's cowl and Batman's cape incredibly long, giving him a demonic look.

In addition to his run on Batman, Jones also illustrated the "Dream Country" and "Season of Mists" story arcs for Sandman, his style lending itself well to a story in which the main character must travel to Hell to free a former lover. Jones is also well known for revamping the character Deadman in the late 80s, redesigning him to look thin and skeletal. His face, formerly drawn to resemble a normal human's head with pale white skin, now looked like a skull. More recently, Jones has drawn the series The Crusades for Vertigo Comics (2000–2001), and the four-issue mini-series Conan: The Book of Thoth for Dark Horse Comics with writers Kurt Busiek and Len Wein in 2006.