In a new show at Copro Gallery in Santa Monica, Chet Zar revisits the classic baddies of pop culture with the show “Villains.” Just as he does in his art, the artist is able to tether his fascination with the dark and dystopic to art history. “I am interested in the villain archetype as a subject matter,” Zar tells us. “I always have been fascinated by them and I thought it would be fun to do my own take on some. Every great story has a great villain. They are just as important as the heroes. In fact, they create the opportunity for heroes. But more to the point, I just think villains are more interesting and fun to think about. I mean, which part of the Bosch’s ‘Garden of Earthly Delights’ triptych do people talk about? ‘The Garden of Eden’ or ‘The Last Judgement’? I think it’s at the core of what Dark Art is all about- dark imagery is just more fun and interesting to explore.”
Chet Zar, a painter, digital animator, and make-up effects artist, brings his dark, dystopic vision to Copro Gallery with the solo exhibition “DY5TOPIA.” Running through Nov. 5, the exhibition transforms the entire gallery to match the doom and gloom of Zar’s bizarre world of monsters. Yet, unlike other fictional worlds, the monsters and creatures in Zar’s images are sometimes suffering, fearful, or in a broader state of anxiety. Zar was last featured on HiFructose.com here, as part of his 3D group exhibition “Conjoined.”
Surrealist and sculptor Chet Zar’s brain child, the “Conjoined” group exhibition, notorious for its mixture of whimsical and disturbing art works, has compelled crowds to Santa Monica’s Copro Gallery for years. Featured here on our blog, the show is a presentation of 2D and 3D pieces by internationally known and up and coming artists alike who delve into subjects that are the stuff of our dreams and nightmares. The idea first came about in 2010, when Zar, who comes from a background in move special effects where 3D maquettes are a big part of the process, was eager to see a show devoted to more sculptural forms. “Conjoined” celebrated it’s 6th anniversary last Saturday with the opening of “Conjoined 666”, named after the “number of the beast” in most manuscripts of chapter 13 of the Book of Revelation, of the New Testament, and also in popular culture.
Tomorrow night, Chet Zar’s “The Demon Show” and Jasmine Worth’s “Dark Night of the Soul” side by side solo shows are opening at Last Rites Gallery in NYC. Both shows will be on view May 23rd through July 3rd, 2015. In “Dark Night of the Soul”, Worth explores the act of transformation through suffering. Inspired by both the occult and female experience, the artist utilizes meticulous layering techniques to craft scenes from fairytales gone awry, swirling seamlessly between the sweet and the morbid. With “The Demon Show,” Zar’s subject matter is surreal and darkly humorous yet genuine in its existence, often revealing humankind at its barest form.
With Halloween just around the corner, we’re seeing many exhibitions exploring darker themes and subject matter inspired by the season- from new works by the Black Moon collective to “The 13th Hour” at Last Rites gallery, and even Yayoi Kusama’s “Pumpkins”. Among the spookiest is opening tonight at Copro Gallery; Chet Zar’s “ALL HALLOWS’ EVE”, coinciding with their group show “Roadside Attractions” (previewed here). Lover of horror cinema, monsters, movie props and all things Halloween, Zar contributes a new body of work with some of the holiday’s most popular images in his style. Glowing skulls, witches, ghosts and the mysterious unknown are all represented in these colorful 60s-inspired illustrations.
A master of the macabre, Chet Zar went an unusual route for his solo exhibition, “Ego Death,” at Copro Gallery. The opening reception will take place this Saturday, October 12, at Beyond Eden Art Fair in LA, and the show will subsequently be moved to Copro Gallery for the rest of the month. But the event Zar has been gearing up for will be a closing reception, or second opening on October 26 (perhaps even this format is telling of Zar’s optimistic views about death), complete with a funeral procession, black magic, a live organ player and more. Zar is not glorifying death in a straightforward sense; inside the casket will be objects that represent the idea of the ego. Doing away with the ego, according to Buddhism, allows one to reach ultimate compassion and enlightenment. Take a look at our preview of the show after the jump.