Posts Tagged ‘oil painting’

Chet Zar’s DY5TOPIA Evolves

Chet Zar’s DY5TOPIA evolves! Though it has been in the recesses of Chet Zar’s mind for over a decade, the process began in earnest this year on April Fool’s Day, with the success of the first DY5TOPIA Kickstarter. The generous assistance of the Zarmy allowed us to begin the arduous process of developing a Field Guide to the Dark Universe of Chet Zar. In order to truly capture the essence of Chet’s Dark Universe, we decided to approach the process from the standpoint of investigators; “When we embarked upon this journey to understand Dy5topia, we knew very little. What we did know existed in the paintings themselves. The paintings are the only “evidence” that we can base our investigation and research on. So we approached the process as interviewer (me) and interviewee (Chet Zar), observing the paintings simultaneously as the Q&A unfolded.” (excerpt from the Field Guide) 

Chet Zar's DY5TOPIA Evolves

Over a period of five months we developed the backbone of the field guide in the form of a classification system, which allowed us to organize over one hundred paintings, and so the field guide was born. Fast approaching though was Chet’s annual Solo Exhibition at Copro Gallery. Having been immersed in the various dark corners of DY5TOPIA for nearly half of a year, we recognized that the DY5TOPIA exhibition required funding. There was no other choice than to launch a second DY5TOPIA Kickstarter, in order to transform Copro Gallery into one such dark corner!

Chet Zar's DY5TOPIA Evolves

Once again, with the amazing support of the Zarmy, we were able to facilitate not only an exhibition, but an event and moreover, an experience! For those who had the pleasure of attending the opening night of DY5TOPIA, it was no doubt more than a simple event. Working up until the last minute Lee Shamel and the Figment Foundry crew, owned and operated by James and Tayler Brown, assembled DY5TOPIA piece by piece. The parking lot was alive with activity as everyone, many Zarmy members included, helped to seam together the elaborate set. Inside was no different with Erica Miller and Gary Pressman facilitating the final, minute details. 

Chet Zar's DY5TOPIA Evolves

As Cris Velasco‘s score rose and “Black Magick” (played by Rick Galiher and costumed by Junker Designs) emerged from the DY5TOPIA street scene staircase, an ominous sensation gripped the attendees. An uneasiness permeated the atmosphere, and it seemed those who came to look were almost afraid to see! The “Interloper” (created by Jim Beinke, played by Alexander Ward) snapped its arms as Zarmy members began snapping pictures, and the entire experience took on a very surreal quality. It seemed the fine line between our world and DY5TOPIA began to blur. Oddities appeared up in every direction you turned – trench coats, gas masks, beaks, rotten grimaces, everyone moving as if in slow motion. Water continuous sloshed from a rusty pipe, and nearby a skulking zombie peered into a storefront, where enormous centipedes writhed upon a countertop. Adjacent to the street scene were towering smokestacks glowing an ominous red, from which thick smog belched.” 

“Up the ramp and through an elaborate Mausoleum complete with a coffin, flickering candles and flying-gas-mask facades, and into the “Interloper” monitoring station, where flashing imagery and bizarre landscapes could be seen upon the screens, along with a live feed of those in attendance. Damien Echols held down Gallery 2, where DY5TOPIAN leaves swirled about gallery goers’ feet as they enjoyed his many “Collaboration” pieces. Gallery 1 boasted Chet’s fourteen paintings, framed atop rusty, drippy walls, with “Black Magick” periodically moving through the crowd. Five framed excerpts from the field guide hung near Chet’s painting “DY5TOPIA”, elaborating upon the many facets of “Creeple”, “Black Magick”, “Interloper”, “Landscape”, and “nOmen”.” (Kickstarter Update)

The following day I had the pleasure of returning to Copro Gallery, where Chet and I met up with Rick Galiher, and did some pick-up shooting. Aside from advising Rick on some basic “Black Magick” character information, we allowed him to feel out the “monster” on his own, with only minor direction. Shooting in tandem, Chet captured the secondary angle on his phone, while I captured the primary angle on my camera. Rick is, in my opinion, a genius at his trade, and this performance was no different! With footage in hand I returned from Los Angeles and set about editing together a short, experimental narrative of the footage that we captured. Toying with various cuts, filters and resolutions I was able to create an experimental short, which only increased our already teeming excitement concerning further permutations of DY5TOPIA.

Next the Field Guide text will be handed over to editor Tony Saavedra, while Chet creates the final images in preparation for everything to go to designer Mackie Osborne. The End is NEAR! In the meantime we are devoted to reward fulfillment for the two Kickstarters, and with that in mind, check this out: You can still get DY5TOPIA Merchandise, but only for a limited time here: BackerKit DY5TOPIA Store! Stay tuned for updates as we move forward with the evolution of Chet Zar’s DY5TOPIA…

Chet Zar's DY5TOPIA Evolves

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DY5TOPIA Solo Show Kickstarter

The DY5TOPIA solo show Kickstarter is launching August 25th, 3:00pm PST! This is your chance to get an original Chet Zar oil painting from the DY5TOPIA solo show, for discounted prices! 

Dy5topia Solo Show Kickstarter

For the past five months Chet Zar and I have been creating a Field Guide for his dark universe. This process has required a deep investigation into the only evidence of DY5TOPIA that we possess – Chet’s paintings. The information we have gathered has since been organized and and is currently being refined for publication. Throughout this process Chet has similarly embarked upon a personal journey, using his paint to flesh out the many dark corners of DY5TOPIA. 

Dy5topia Solo Show Kickstarter

On October 15th, 2016 many of these new paintings will be unveiled at Copro Gallery for his annual solo show, and we would like to transport you to DY5TOPIA! The walls of Copro Gallery will be transformed into DY5TOPIA, smokestacks will be erected, Chet Zar will be scoring the event soundtrack, props will be installed and special character appearances of Chet Zar’s “Black Magick” and “Interloper” are scheduled! Everyone attending will be invited to dress as their favorite Chet Zar monster, or any monstrous being of choice. Placards will also be placed throughout the gallery with excerpts from DY5TOPIA: A Field Guide to the Dark Universe of Chet Zar, guiding you through the experience!

Dy5topia Solo Show Kickstarter

This Kickstarter is offering original paintings from Chet’s solo show at Copro Gallery, October 15th, 2016. Not only will you be able to get your hands on smaller items like the DY5TOPIA book, companion book, Chet Zar: I Like to Paint Monsters DVD, 5×7″ custom DY5TOPIA frames, and full sized DY5TOPIA frame-corner sculptures, but you will also have the opportunity to purchase custom framed paintings that will be featured in the solo show! Choose your favorite images, from Interlopers to Black Magick, landscapes to smokestacks, and so much more. This is your opportunity to get an original Chet Zar painting (before they are gone), and contribute to the success of the solo show, all in one! Look for links to the Kickstarter tomorrow at 3pm, and get first choice —> DY5TOPIA FACEBOOK

Dy5topia Solo Show Kickstarter

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Rotten Tomatoes Contest

Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 9.19.48 PMThe Rotten Tomatoes contest has begun – your opportunity to get the Chet Zar: I Like to Paint Monsters DVD signed by filmmaker Mike Correll, and a signed paintbrush used by Chet Zar. Not only will you be entering to win amazing prizes, but your review will assist the documentary in reaching a greater audience! The rules are simple: 1) Watch Chet Zar: I Like to Paint Monsters; 2) Review the film on Rotten Tomatoes; 3) Post an ILTPM documentary image on Instagram & tag: @chetzar @nrgcreations #iliketopaintmonsters #firstrunfeatures. The contest will end on June 27th, at 5:55pm (MST). After a twenty four hour grace period for reviews to post, the winner will be drawn randomly! We have had several winners over the past three months, and their reviews have been very helpful in promoting the documentary on iMDB, Amazon and iTunes – now we are seeking your help with Rotten Tomatoes.

James 333 had this to say on iMDB, “This is an intimate, in depth look at one of todays greatest surrealist visionary dark artists, Chet Zar…In this well made documentary you will follow Chet, and his friends and family, along that path to the successful artist that he is today. You will also see much of the art that Chet has created over the years and some insight into his process. This Documentary is highly recommended for art fans everywhere.” Similarly we received a 5 star review with an Amazon customer who said, “This was not what I expected. Watching this movie is like finding pieces of a puzzle you didn’t know you were searching for. Chet’s history is intriguing and his art imaginative, captivating and personal beyond belief. His life’s experiences touch the canvas and his other works are spellbinding in their own right. Well done NRG Creations! We are Chet fans, no doubt!”


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Documentary DVD In Stock

IMG_3580The documentary DVD in stock once again – back by popular demand! This time I am offering them signed, with a “Zarmy” edition patch insert. The purchase price also includes shipping, so this is a deal worth noting. Over the course of the film festival circuit, we managed to get some amazing quotes, including Clive Barker, who said, “Chet Zar’s extraordinary paintings open an elevator shaft that delivers us down into a world of the purest mystery and dread. ‘I Like to Paint Monsters’ is an inspiring and important film about the artist, as well as art itself.” We were also honored to premiere the documentary at the Paradise Artist Retreat (2015), where Guy Aitchison first saw the completed piece, and later wrote for Tattoo Magazine, “A great film that I expect will become a cult classic…beautiful, moving and thought-provoking.” 

Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 4.04.30 PMSimilarly, since the documentary dvd release two months ago we have received some wonderful reviews from fans, such as Malinda T. who wrote on Amazon, “One of the BEST art documentaries I have ever seen! A truly MUST see for artists and art fans alike, even if you’re not really into dark art. The cerebral components of the film make it a true diamond in the rough, a unique glimpse into a growing culture of art today.” On iTunes NinaBees wrote, “I don’t think I can adequately express what watching this documentary means to me, but I can try. I knew that I would be blown away by this documentary, but I was also surprised by the degree it moved my spirit.” We always hoped for these kinds of reviews, and 5 star ratings, and are both humbled by the outpouring of appreciation and support! It has rivaled our expectations, certainly. 

dy5topia.squareNow we are seeking even greater exposure, both through our efforts in publicity and advertising, to your purchases and shares. Every person that you bring into the Zarmy fold, is one more opportunity for the vision of Chet Zar to have greater reach. One person shows two people, and two people show four, etcetera. I have always believed that I was working on something much larger than the documentary, and I know Chet similarly feels his body of work is a facet of something bigger. The culmination of this effort is taking shape in DY5TOPIA: A Field Guide to the Dark Universe of Chet Zar, but can be further perpetuated by spreading knowledge of the documentary! 

Get your copy of the DVD here: Chet Zar: I Like to Paint Monsters (DVD)

ChetZarDVDbox no background



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Reviews and Documentary Access

225_chetzarReviews and documentary access are the topics of importance today! As some of you may have noticed, the website has been down for over a month. We are back and ready for action, with some great “Chet ZarI Like to Paint Monsters” review links, and a variety of ways to get your hands on the documentary. The documentary is already off to a great start with numerous reviews, both professional and personal, pouring in by the day. We couldn’t be happier with both the quality and content of the reviews! Most recently C.L. Illsley  of the Montreal Rampage had this to say, “I Like to Paint Monsters not only provides a showcase for Zar’s work but also delves into the motivations and inspirations behind them …. entertaining and well-made.” Illsley also paid homage to the Zarmy, stating, “Interestingly, I Like to Paint Monsters was financed by several Kickstarter campaigns which seems to be a reflection not only of Zar’s outsider status but also of his fiercely loyal fan base.” (Entire article: Montreal Rampage Review) We were also happy to discover that famous film critic Kam Williams included us on his Top Ten DVD Releases for 3-8-16. The list was later syndicated and featured in 106 U.S. cities! We landed in the L.A. Beat, with Paul Gaita saying this, “Zar is an engaging subject and his monster art is both alarming and quite beautiful, in its own way.” (Entire Aricle: Movies Till Dawn) In addition we found ourselves the topic of discussion in Scared Stiff gave us a 5 star rating, opening their article about “Chet Zar: I Like to Paint Monsters” with these words, “We said it once, and it’s worthy to say it again. First Run Features releases first-rate films, and the top DVD release for March proves our point, again.” (Entire Article: Examiner Review)

Screen-Shot-2016-01-22-at-11.27.31-AMFor those Zarmy members who would rather watch “Chet Zar: I Like to Paint Monsters”, than read what others think about it, check out these options. Our distributor, First Run Features (FRF), is offering the DVD at a 25% discount, so if you are in the U.S. or Canada this is a great option: FRF Purchase DVD Link. The documentary is also streaming VOD (video on demand) in HD via iTunes, and is available in the U.S. / Canada / U.K. – Watch on iTunes. In addition Amazon is carrying both new and used versions of the DVD, and offer International shipping: Amazon Purchase DVD Link. Last but certainly not least, Chet Zar will be at the Monsterpalooza convention in Pasadena this weekend (booth #88), so stop by and grab a copy of the DVD in person!

Sourpuss.WebcutoutSome of you are already taking advantage of the Instagram contest, which I highly recommend to anyone who wants a chance at winning a FREE “Sourpuss” monster bust! The fringe benefit, is that each and every review that we receive helps to drive greater traffic to “Chet Zar: I Like to Paint Monsters”. So if you want to directly help spread the word of Zar, carefully follow these easy directions: 1. Watch “Chet Zar: I Like to Paint Monsters”; 2. Review it on Amazon; 3. Post a Chet Zar: I Like to Paint Monsters image on Instagram; 4. Tag the following: @ChetZar @NRGcreations #ILikeToPaintMonsters and #FirstRunFeatures. One entry per person. Don’t wait, the contest ends April 20th, 2016 at 5:55pm (MST)

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It is Too Mysterious

JamesJarAvailableThe phrase, it is too mysterious, could mean many things. It could connote a sensation of dread or one of elation. It could be a warning or an invitation. Today I think of the phrase in a contracted form, “It’s too mysterious”, and I do so as a result of death. Each culture deals with death in its own way, and respectively, each individual does the same. Death is quite mysterious, perhaps the ultimate mystery, and yet it is the inevitable event that we all must face. But that is not why “It’s too mysterious” makes me think of death today. In many ways death is a lifelong companion. Our own personal death is always right there, at our side, waiting for that moment when it can finally embrace us. This also is a mysterious concept, yet again, not exactly the reason for my writing. Today when I think of “It’s too mysterious” I think of a very specific painting.

James Zar - "It'sTooMysterious" - 24x30 © 2015

James Zar’s “It’s Too Mysterious” Oil Painting

You may be asking yourself why you are a paragraph deep in this article, and yet I find myself here with you, also wondering. Of course part of me knows why, and yet somehow part of me doesn’t. James Zar died earlier this week, and aside from being Chet Zar‘s stepfather, he was an incredible visionary artist. Jimmy, as I grew to know him, played an integral role in the creation of I Like to Paint Monsters, and similarly played a significant role in Chet’s life. Earlier this week as I sat at my editing suite, cutting together what would become the DVD bonus features, Jimmy was embarking upon his next journey – the same journey we will all take. I was keenly aware of what was occurring, and yet was required to remain focused on the task at hand, scrubbing over his interview footage in search of the proper outtakes to include. I was watching this beautiful man, his eyes sparkling as he discussed the things closest to his heart: his family, his life, and his passion for painting. Here, in front of me, breathing, smiling, and laughing. Elsewhere I knew his body was dying. I was not sad; I am rarely sad about death, but I was something. I simply could not put my finger on that something, perhaps it was too mysterious.

James Zar image © 2014 NRG Creations, Inc.

James Zar still-image from I Like to Paint Monsters

One of the reasons that I write, and perhaps one of the reasons that people read, is to “work things out”. The process of writing helps me to wrap my mind around concepts that would otherwise elude me. As I began writing the DVD Bonus Feature article on Friday I could not stop thinking about Jimmy. I felt an obligation to memorialize him, which I am sure results from my cultural conditioning. Another part me, the part that I guard from the onslaught of societal garbage, told me to leave it alone. “Why?” I inevitably asked. “I’m suppose to”, I insisted. I struggled as I wrote that article, a struggle with myself, and that smaller part of me won out with the word “sensationalism”. That part of me felt that writing about it in this venue, at that moment, was sensationalism. Right or wrong, I listened to it, as I have learned to turn a keen ear to my intuition. 

JamesZar, "Out on a Limb" © 2015

James Zar’s “Out on a Limb” Oil Painting

I realize now, having penned this article, that my intuition was protecting me. I was not emotionally prepared to write about it at the time. Death is funny like that. It often impacts the survivors in ways we would never imagine. Had I written about it on Friday I would have been giving it only 50%…shit who am I kidding, after 3 weeks of 14 hour days, 7 days a week editing, I would have been giving it 10%. Jimmy deserved better than that! Jimmy always gave it 100%, and I owed it to him to do the same. I come away from these several days with the reminder that everyone grieves differently, and I implore you to grieve in your own way! Do not look away from these difficult and sometimes ugly things, rather inspect them more closely. As usual I find myself sitting here alive, my own personal death just behind me, and all I can say is that it’s too mysterious! 

James Zar, Inner Forest, 19x16 © 2015

James Zar’s “Inner Forest” Oil Painting

 “The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.”
~ Mark Twain

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