This Saturday the 19th, Copro Gallery will open its door to the third installment of Conjoined. Conceived to showcase the often overlooked talents of SFX artists by renowned monster painter Chet Zar, last year‘s Conjoined featured the viral hit sculpture, Beavis and Butthead in Real Life, among a multitude of captivating pieces by film industry special effects pros, Pop-Surrealists and toy artists.
Eli Livingston for Conjoined 3
This year, there are even more show-stoppers to look forward to, as we discovered after speaking to an excited Chet Zar, who suspects the upcoming show is the best of the three so far. There is one piece in particular that is definitely going to blow minds – it’s being kept under wraps for now, but we do know that it’s being created by the amazing makeup effects artist turned fine artist, Kazu Tsuji. He is widely regarded as the best prosthetic/makeup effects artist in the world and was Rick Baker’s right hand man for about 10 years. To give you a little taste of what might be in store, here is Tsuji’s first fine art piece : this giant Dick Smith head.
Jason Hite for Conjoined 3
Kevin Kirkpatrick (of the giant Beavis and Butthead sculpture fame) has come through again with an incredible piece, which Chet has seen first-hand and confirms is amazing. Acclaimed psychedelic painter, Alex Grey, will have his bronze “CoSM Grail” in the show as well. Travis Louie contributed a two-headed Krampus that’s sure to delight, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Additionally, Chet’s brother, Rick Zar, and his girlfriend Meesha Goldberg, will be doing a live neon installation, creating neon sculptures in front of the gallery. Unlike its predecessors, this year’s show will fill the entire gallery, so you can look forward to seeing even more effects artists showing their fine art for the first time. Yours truly will be showing her first fine art sculpture in the show, as well.
Zoetica Ebb for Conjoined 3
Now, an exclusive rapid-fire Q&A with Chet Zar:
How would you describe the Conjoined show experience so far?
It’s always a bit stressful, but Gary and Erica at Copro Gallery do most of the hard work. I mostly assemble the artists, which is no small feat because I am a very disorganized person. So far, the shows have been the most successful of all the shows I have curated. I love the fact that it gets sculpture out to a wider audience and I like being able to get my super talented friends and colleagues form the film industry a foot in the door to the fine art world. It’s really a privilege for me to be able to do this.
Now that you’ve curated for three years in a row, what are some of the surprises you’ve encountered along the way?
Well, the biggest surprise was the crazy response to last year’s show. The attendance was huge and it wasn’t all about collectors – it was a lot of regular folks like myself who just wanted to see a cool art show. The work in these shows is so entertaining and interesting that you don’t need an art degree to appreciate it, which is the problem I have with a lot of modern art, particularly sculpture for some reason. Art should not make you feel dumb, it should make you feel empowered.
Colin Christian for Conjoined 3
Do you have a piece in this year’s show?
I was too busy to create something new this year, but I did have my “Conjoined Heart” sculpture from the first two years cast in bronze. The mold is now shot, so this will be the last one. The first two were cast in resin, one in red for the first year and one in black for the second year. So this year it will be bronze, thanks to my buddy Grant Standard at Black Hills Bronze. He does all my bronzes now and he has also done some stuff for Alex Grey, including the “CoSM Grail” piece in this year’s show.
Traditionally, curators are not really supposed to put their own work in a show they are curating, but I think fans might be disappointed if they saw my name on something I had no work in – so I usually put at least something in.
Can you tell us about Black Magic, the book of your work you’ll be signing during the show?
It’s my first proper art book and I am really happy with the result. It’s published by BeinArt Publishing (they published Kris Kuksi’s book as well as Laurie Lipton’s book) and designed by the super talented Mackie Osborne (wife of Buzz from The Melvins). It’s nearly 200 pages and covers my art career and life, as well as my career in the FX industry. It has an intro by Guillermo Del Toro, a critical essay by Carrie Ann Baade, and other writings about my work by world renowned tattooer Paul Booth and writer/director and former editor of Rue Morgue magazine, Jovanka Vukovic.
Are there any special Conjoined-related projects in the works for our readers to look forward to?
We really wanted to get a book together for the show but time always runs out. We will have a Conjoined III T shirt for the show, which came out really great!
Exhibit runs January 19 – February 09, 2013
Opening Reception: this Saturday, January 19, 2013 – 8:00 – 11:30PM
Copro Gallery – Bergamot Station
2525 Michigan Ave. T5
Santa Monica, CA 90404