Can you tell us about the role horror and dark figures have played in your life so far? Have these themes always been an interest to you?
One of the first films I ever saw was “Friday the 13th Part 1”, thanks to my brother. My mother is a big fan of the first “Exorcist” film so I was exposed to supernatural films, as well. I think being shown horror films right from the get-go of my life got me interested into the horror genre. I don’t remember a time in my life when it hasn’t been. When other people would want to see a family friendly Disney movie, I wanted to see “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”.
Do you feel that the self portraits portray anything about you as a person, or are you simply a conduit for larger narratives?
I feel as though self portraits will always portray a small part of the artist. For these dark works I create, I obviously do not wish to become those types of beings, but I do believe there is a darker side to everyone. Instead of hiding mine, I push it into my artwork. That’s not to say they aren’t meant for larger stories other than interpretations of a hidden dark side. My works always try to fit into some kind of narrative, whether it’s with an individual piece or a set entirely.
What is your favorite piece here?
“The Follower” which is part of a set of works scheduled to complete on October 22nd. I love the story and overall look I placed into the photograph, but also the overall process was tons of fun.
From a technical standpoint, can you describe your creation process? Do you use entirely digital means to create these or is there a significant amount of setup that goes into them ahead of time?
The thing I love about horror movies is the makeup processes. I do not enjoy films that use extensive amounts of CGI to create a character. So with my photographs, such as with the “Void” portraits, I prepared my body in various ways. For instance, with “The Follower” I covered my face and hands in a mixture of flour, corn starch, milk, red paint, and drips of fake blood once it was applied to my skin. Then I covered myself in the cloak. I try to put as many pieces together in front of the camera as I can versus on the computer, as I always see it as more realistic that way versus a digital montage of images. I feel like I have worked extra hard on a piece with a process like that, instead of doing most of it on a computer.
Name your favorite video games! How has gaming influenced you?
- Silent Hill 2
- Silent Hill Homecoming
- Bioshock 1
- Bioshock Infinite
- Twisted Metal Black
- and various Final Fantasy games.
Video games are art, in my opinion. All of the same elements that go into an animated film which are able to win an Academy Award, are put into a video game. The only difference is that one of these forms allows us as an audience to make our own choices in the imaginary view. Some of those titles I listed are pretty obvious as to how they inspire me as a horror artist, but I list “Final Fantasy” as well due to the fact that the stories in these video games, especially with “Bioshock Infinite”, are so well thought out and moving that it’s hard not to be inspired. Video games are art, and that is why I’m inspired by them.