Posts Tagged ‘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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Film Festival Screening

ILTPM-11x17-poster-RWB-2The first film festival screening of I Like to Paint Monsters is scheduled for the Albuquerque Film and Music Experience, showing at the KiMo Theatre, June 6th, 2015 at 4:00pm! Join artist Chet Zar and filmmaker Mike Correll for this exciting event! As many of you know, we are touring the film festival circuit in search of a distribution deal, which has a multitude ramifications. First and foremost, while on the film festival circuit we are limited in our ability to share I Like to Paint Monsters with the Zarmy. There are many guidelines, rules and regulations that govern the official selection process for film festival submissions, and they are limiting in nature. While we can screen the documentary privately and securely for professionals, or at no cost for a public audience, we cannot produce DVD’s or expose the documentary online. I know this is frustrating for many Zarmy members, as we have amassed a cumulative following of nearly 60K over the past three years, both during our Kickstarter campaigns and through Social Media outlets, many of whom are chomping at the bit. This sacrifice should poise I Like to Paint Monsters for selection in many film festivals, both domestic and international, throughout mid and late 2015. We will continue to inform you of further selections and screenings dates/times/locations as they are communicated to us.  Needless to say, a successful distribution deal with a larger corporation, or subsidiary of a larger corporation, will ensure a much greater reach, which has always been the intent. As much as we want to please our fans, our goal is to get the I Like to Paint Monsters message out to the masses, which again requires select U.S. city openings, mass DVD production, and streaming online. The goal is, and has always been, to open the worlds’ eyes to the artwork and philosophies of Chet Zar! We have already begun receiving many incredible reviews, both in print, in person at our free premiere screening for the Paradise Artist Retreat, and now through private screenings with professionals and colleagues. Goli Mohammadi of Hi-Fructose Magazine recently wrote, “Chet’s life story is strange and engaging, much like his artwork. That explains why filmmaker Mike Correll set out to make a documentary film about him. Aptly titled I Like to Paint Monsters, this eighty-minute homage is not only as textured as Chet’s paintings, but perhaps also as real and unexpected.” In a recent email chain we received a wonderful review from a friend and film industry professional, “I love it Chet!! Full of honesty and sincerity. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!”, and another from a mutual colleague, “You did AFME_Glow_Laurelssuch a great job, and I really feel like I know the guy and I have never met him”. Much like Mohammadi’s final sentence in Hi-Fructose (referring to Chet), “By the end of the documentary, you’ll be ready to get in line for that hug”, the responses thus far are ubiquitous. No doubt I’m both encouraged and proud of these high compliments after enduring years of production on I Like to Paint Monsters, but more importantly I believe they speak measures of the potential of I Like to Paint Monsters.       “There’s so much suffering going on in the world that I can’t make art that doesn’t reflect it in some way. Dark art honors Suffering.” ~ Chet Zar  

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Dark Art Honors Suffering

IMG_2743Dark art honors suffering seems to be the agreed upon slogan for I Like to Paint Monsters, based on the incredible feedback we recently received at the Paradise Artist Retreat, premiere screening of the documentary. If we ever had any doubts about the potential impact of I Like to Paint Monsters, the Chet Zar documentary, they were completely vanquished after screening it for a mixed audience of one hundred and fifty plus artists, collaborators, and fans! IMG_2768After a brief introduction, standing in a spotlight, the audience somewhere out in the black hole of the auditorium, I seated myself for the nerve wracking ride. As the movie got underway I noticed people reacting where they were supposed, how they were supposed to, and for a brief one hour and twenty minutes I had the pleasure of watching three years worth of work through the eyes of my audience! The obligatory applause followed and I expected the audience to begin filing out. Instead they lowered their applause in favor of Rick Galiher’s delivery of the complete Ego Death eulogy, and sat quietly through the entire run of credits. Again we were met with applause, and at that moment I realized that we had achieved our goal. Originally the Q&A was to directly follow the screening, but I found myself standing and announcing a fifteen minute break to the audience, feeling that a few minutes to digest was necessary. IMG_2792Outside on the patio I was greeted by a regular stream of people, each taking a moment to express how deeply touched they had been by the film. I could overhear the murmur of the crowd and it seemed that everyone had felt the same tide of emotion. The Q&A began shortly thereafter and I found myself falling into that old Chet Zar, Mike Correll rhythm, and the bizarre stories began to flow. Even after the Q&A people came to the booth, next door to the auditorium, to express their appreciation of I Like to Paint Monsters; one incredible young man even said that it had changed his life! A humbling and hard to digest compliment, but one that speaks measures of the power of cinema and art! IMG_2562A week later now and I’m still digesting the experience. What is the most salient perhaps is that the Zarmy, albeit a catchy coined phrase, is actually a moniker for a group of people unified in their perception that Dark Art honors suffering. I Like to Paint Monsters has become a call to arms, and so it is quite apropos that those who support it would be called Zarmy members!  It is easy to get wrapped up in daily life, trying to both create and make enough money to pay the bills. Both Chet and I know it, and so we honor each Zarmy member for your level of involvement in both the Dark Art movement and I Like to Paint Monsters. With that in mind, Chet has taken a moment to give supporters and Kickstarter backers an update, and for those who did not make it to the documentary premiere, head to New Mexico on June 6th at 4:00pm, for the Albuquerque Film and Music Experience screening of I Like to Paint Monsters at the KIMO theatre. httpvh://

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Chet Zar Documentary Premiere

The Chet Zar Documentary Premiere is scheduled: April 2nd, 2015, 4:00pm at the Paradise Artist Retreat in New Mexico. Following the screening, at 5:30pm, will be an on-stage Q&A with Chet Zar and Mike Correll. This premiere screening is FREE to the public, but the theatre will fill up fast, so please show up early and take a look around the auditorium, which will be hosting some of the most incredible Dark Artists of the decade, including Chet Zar, Gabe Leonard, Michele Wortman, Guy Aitchison, Nick Baxter, Jeff Gogue and many more! In preparation for this cinema event I have prepared yet another teaser for your viewing pleasure. 


It has been an intense and wild ride, spanning over two and a half years, during which I captured approximately one hundred and eighty hours of footage, which has since been distilled down to 80 minutes. I certainly couldn’t have made the documentary without the ongoing support and assistance from the Zarmy. Stay tuned for other exciting developments, as we begin to take I Like to Paint Monsters on tour!

More information about the: Paradise Artist Retreat

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Chet Zar Documentary Teaser

NRG Creations presents the Chet Zar documentary teaser for your viewing pleasure! I am currently rendering down the second to final draft of the documentary as I type this post, and I am only one all-nighter away from calling it complete! There is no way that I could have gotten this far without the support of each and every one of you, Kickstater Backers, family members, friends, colleagues and fans alike, the Zarmy, respectively. I will also be releasing a new trailer and a spoiler, so stay tuned for developments and film festival dates!


I Like to Paint Monsters – The Chet Zar Story (teaser)

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Hell City Zarmy

DSC00050The Hell City Zarmy has returned from a productive and exciting trip to Phoenix, Arizona, for the Hell City Tattoo Convention. NRG Creations rendezvoused with the two newest ILTPM Crew members at the luxurious Arizona Biltmore, and we set about tackling the final missing piece of active production: fan testimonials! With weekend Production Assistant Heidi Hunt providing back up, and ILTPM Magazine Publicist Patrick Richter snapping “behind the scenes” pics, we arrived with just enough time to catch Ben Licata from “TattooNOW” interviewing Chet Zar on stage! In his usual, casual candor Chet filled the audience in on Chet.Heidi.Mikehis study sales, connection to the tattoo world, creative inspirations, and talked a bit about ILTPM. Off the stage and right back at it, Chet Zar could be found in an adjoining room where the “Wet Paint Project” was taking place. Between touch up’s on a set of extraordinary studies, Chet laid down strokes a life painting, of a young female model.IMG_0244 Around the corner the amazing Neil Winn ran sales at a joint booth, where a constant stream of both young and old browsed through Neil’s incredible sculptures, magnets and sketches, before delving into the darkened corner where Chet Zar boasted his bizarre wares! The heat kept everyone inside, which made for a tangible buzz of excitement and energy, all to the perpetual hum of the tattoo machines gliding over prone skin in the main convention area.  Patrick Richter HC21My second day brought with it interviews from the world famous circus sideshow duo, The Enigma and Serana Rose, both of whom offered their instinctual and intellectual reflections of Chet Zar’s work, all wrapped in a bow of tattoos, skewers, implants and garish costumes! Long time Zarmy member, ILTPM supporter,DSC00116 and Chet Zar fan Richard Ray Ingersoll also stopped by and delivered a powerfully charismatic speech on how Chet Zar’s work has affected him personally, and why it is so important to the world at this time in history! Evening festivities brought with them powerful visions, warm camaraderie, libations and epicurean delights. The morning brought with it the heat as well as the inevitable departure! Luckily I had pre-arranged the lights, so I was able to get early morning, heartfelt interviews from both Patrick Richter (our weekend host and photographer), and Heidi Hunt (currently the only owner of an Ego Death tattoo – WIP by the amazing Jason Peacher of St. George, Utah) before tearing down and packing up. IMG_0241The long, ten hour drive home lulled me into creative inspiration, to the lovely array of music thrumming in my ears, and the darkened landscape speeding past. Back at NRG Creations headquarters and the footage consolidation began; satisfied with my Hell City plunder, I picked up the editing process, while simultaneously assisting with the completion of The Anxious Robot Raffle. As the days IMG_0243between now and documentary completion dwindle, I’m overcome with indescribable gratitude for the support the Zarmy has provided over the past two years, and more excited than ever to share this amazing piece of filmic history with each and every one of you!   

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Documentary Revelations Abound

MomentOfClarity_11x14_OC_2005Documentary revelations abound as I dissolve into a round the clock I Like to Paint Monsters extravaganza! Amidst the technical turmoil of pounding out the editorial kinks, moments of clarity seem like gulps of frigid water, shocking my system into profound wakefulness. Despite only having two hands, and over a dozen balls in the air, intuitions rises like a berg from the depths, its cratered surface glistening in the harsh light. If I am fast and lucky I am allowed a relic. As I have imparted before, documentary occurs in tandem with both the lives of the documentary subjects, and the inevitable twists and turns of the filmmaker’s. These things are not separate, and as a consequence they rub off on one another, just as you pick up dust on your jacket squeezing between tight surfaces. Recently while musing over literature revolving around Joseph Campbell, one of Chet Zar’s inspirations, I was struck with a moment of clarity! A connection was made in my mind concerning the management of old and new myths, and the potential impact of that notion, in application to paradigm shift, namely the movement towards happiness and away from fear. And so the script continues to ebb and flow as I work through the production of necessary b-roll (images used to carry the story), while simultaneously sequencing the interviews into a manageable infrastructure. Another moment of clarity arose recently while enjoying a Facebook thread with some friends. A glimmering idea, nearly carbonated with energy shone through, and I decided that a fundraising contest is in order.
NEW Chet Zarmy Design

NEW Chet “Zarmy” Design – Coming SOON!

We are always looking for ways to fund the documentary, now the film festival circuit, so here is the deal: Open design submissions for a limited edition, I Like to Paint Monsters poster run! Post your finished high definition image (300 dpi or better) on the I Like to Paint Monsters Facebook page —> ILTPM, no later than 12am MST, July 14th, for a chance to have your design featured! Contest winner will also receive a documentary Hoodie, and runner up prizes will be revealed on the 14th. While I suggest an image that is a traditional poster size, 11×17″ for instance, I am allowing full creative freedom. One submission per person. Donate your time and creativity to help the documentary succeed! Together we can ensure that the documentary has the most thorough Film Festival circuit review, by creating and selling merchandise to support travel!  IMG_8379 “Ever since we could see, hear, smell, taste and touch we’ve been learning cultural myths, upon which the infrastructure of our perception rests. Unfortunately these myths are often outdated. Biblical information, for instance, that was once pertinent, is rendered obsolete by the passage of time. Yet we are left with these empty myths that still govern our behavior. Joseph Campbell would tell us that we need to create our own myths!” ~ Excerpt from ILTPM Script    

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And The Beat Goes On

IMG_7937And the beat goes on; every night this week I have been hard at work blasting through the I Like to Paint Monsters Documentary b-roll, shaping the Chet Zar story into something greater than the sum of its parts. When people think of documentary they often reflect upon a traditional piece of journalistic film work, in which the subject of the documentary follows a clean and clear pathway from a “beginning” to an “end” – from point (a) to point (g)…or whatever. The story of Chet Zar is not so convenient, and it would be irresponsible as a director and artist to force it into such a mold. I Like to Paint Monsters has subplots, and at times is structured self-reflectively, and yet I did not make these decisions. The process of documentary is so unique, in that the documentary (if you are open to it) will inform YOU of what to do next. Often the next suggested step seems off-kilter and perhaps questionable. Yet if you are capable of staying out of your own way, as is the case I believe with all art forms, the most amazing magick occurs – the piece of art takes on a life of its own! It begins to evolve, and in the case of documentary it evolves with the ever changing conditions of life. A documentary does not occur in a static, studio environment, rather out in the world, where random occurrences are the rule not the exception.

The “star” of the shoot – a scarlet runner bean hints at what is to come

Now with that said, I will offer up some rare behind the scenes images, of documentary studio work I have been completing. Aside from the interviews (obviously), and the periodic “dramatization”,  the audience is carried through the experience by visual storytelling. Most of this visual storytelling is captured throughout the process of shooting, so long as you are brave enough to leave the camera running when the situation “seems” to be over, or turning it on when you get an intuition. Even still, unless you want your audience staring at a bunch of talking heads (often too close, so you can see nose hairs) you must fill the gaps with imagery that coincides with what is being said. I Like to Paint Monsters has been gracious enough to tell me how to fill those gaps. Most of this is TOP SECRET of course….wouldn’t want to spoil the enjoyment of taking the ride, should you decide to buy the ticket! In the mean time, here is an excerpt from the script, enjoy! IMG_7931 “It’s always hard to wrap things up with a nice, neat little bow. That’s what I struggle the most with as an artist. As humans we have a tendency to perceive things in a very polarized fashion. Very black and white. But what our experience teaches us, is that while black and white exist, most things fall in the tones of grey. And so loose ends are the rule, not the exception.”     

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Iconic Chet Zar Painting is available

Abandoned_ChetZar_OB_14x18_2008Iconic Chet Zar Painting is available! I was somewhat surprised to see Chet Zar’s “Abandoned” for sale on ebay, yet not entirely. Chet Zar’s paintings are at the forefront of the Dark Art Movement, so if there was ever a time for collectors to begin circulating iconic pieces such as “Post American Gothic” (recently on the market) and “Abadoned”, now is the time! With only two days left and no bids, “Abandoned” is poised to sell for the ridiculously low price of $2,700! There is a great likelihood that this painting will be included in the “I Like to Paint Monsters” documentary, which will only increase its already teeming value!   Screen Shot 2014-05-30 at 9.55.54 AMRecently featured in the “I Like to Paint Monsters” documentary trailer, “Abandoned” embodies the very essence of Chet Zar’s work – lonesome characters wrought with pain, sadness and bleak nostalgia. These characters resonate deeply because they touch us in a very intimate place, a place that is so personal and fragile, that we dare not expose it to the world. Within the capacity of artist and shaman, brave creators like Chet Zar blaze a path that others can follow. They tear open their chests and expose the withered, worm riddled heart that beats within their core. They beckon us to look, despite our fear, so that we may also open our hearts and share our suffering with others. They remind us that we are all afraid, and it is okay, so long as we do not allow it to stop us in our tracks, like the character in “Abandoned” we must persevere. We are all bound in this human experience, and while we may feel isolated and sick with the state of the world, we are all connected in our dismay, and galvanized in our pursuit of a better world! “Abandoned” speaks measures of this eternal human struggle, and will likely be considered one of the great masterpieces of our time! So I implore you to follow the link and drop a bid: BUY ABANDONED 

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Second Kickstarter Success

Second Kickstarter Success! I am totally humbled by the amazing outpouring of support for I Like to Paint Monsters and Chet Zar! We surpassed many hurdles! In the process we have shown that despite numerous obstacles we can come together to achieve amazing things! If nothing else, this is the most important lesson to take from this success. Each and every one of us have the potential to rally friends, family and colleagues in search of a common goal! I can’t begin to thank you all enough for your ongoing support!  Screen Shot 2014-03-23 at 11.02.13 AM

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