Category Archives: Caricature

Happy New Year 2017

Happy New Year 2017..if just a little bit late!

I would have reported in sooner, but things have been hopping right from the start of 2017. I am actually working on a film project for the first tine in quite some doing some cartoony character/product designs. It is a lot of fun but also quite hush-hush. When I am able to say more, I will update the blog.

On the personal side, I have a number of new irons in the fire. A wonderful gallery called the “Bearded Lady’s Mystic Museum” in Burbank recently premiered a “Twilight Zone/Alfred Hitchcock” themed group show. A number of folks I know were participating and I thought I should try to get in on the action. Despite being overbooked, the gallery owners very graciously allowed me to enter a painting. The Rod Serling portrait that appears on my portfolio page is now hanging on their walls. It was an amazing show that had crowds lined up around the block. I was quite proud to be part of this event and I hope I will get the opportunity to do more shows with them.

I also had an idea for an original Hitchcock-themed piece, but there was no time to work on it as my friends at the Creature Features Gallery right down the street from the Bearded Lady announced a slew of group shows for the first half of the year. The first one was timed to coincide with the release of the new film, “Kong Skull Island”. This show was headlined by master illustrator and Kong enthusiast William Stout. They also had their usual array of fantastic artists covering the walls with all things King Kong.

For my painting, I decided I would take a satirical swipe at the 1976 Dino DeLaurentis produced remake of “King Kong”. From a young age I have been fascinated with the saga of bringing this particular beast to the screen. For those not in the know, DeLaurentis decided that for his film, they would forego the traditional stop-motion animation that brought the original giant gorilla to life. Instead, they would utilize a combination of newer techniques; a performer in a gorilla suit and a full-sized robotic Kong. For the suit fabrication and performance, the production hired a then up and coming Rick Baker. You might remember him as the Oscar winning makeup artist behind “An American Werewolf in London”, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” among many others. For the mechanical version, DeLaurentis hired his friend, mechanical effects artist Carlo Rambaldi (“Alien”, E.T.”, “Dune”).

The story is long and there are several places on the web that probably tell it better than I could. Suffice it to say, Rick Baker has always regarded “Kong” as one of his worst job experiences. From the get-go he wasn’t treated with much respect. Being an ape enthusiast, Baker and team lovingly crafted the suit to look as much like a real gorilla as possible. Rambaldi’s robot looked like a bad wax museum display, but hey, it was BIG! The only problem was, it didn’t really work! Wearing the technically groundbreaking but cumbersome ape suit must have been torture. However, because Rambaldi’s full size ape was an unmitigated disaster and can only be seen in pretty much one or two shots near the end of the film, 99.98% of the shots had to be done with Rick Baker ape-ing it up on miniature sets. After all that work, guess who gets a special acknowledgement card at the end of the film AND a Special Achievement Academy Award at the Oscars that year? Yup! Carlo. While I always thought they had blinders on when it came to the quality of Rambaldi’s work, it turns out that may not have been true after all. I read somewhere recently that DeLaurentis knew early on that the full sized versions of Kong just weren’t going to work. He turned lemons into lemonade by inviting the press to the first day of shooting with the robot Kong. They got to see it do the one or two simple things it could do, and assumed that was how the effects would be achieved. Essentially, DeLaurentis..lied!

In my painting, I wanted to show these two versions fighting against each other. I knew that the robot Kong wouldn’t last through more than one punch. This idea immediately called to mind the famous Life photograph of Muhammad Ali standing over a fallen Sonny Liston who took a dive in the first minute of the first round of their second fight in 1965. This provided everything I needed for the painting. I added my usual “eye pops” for those who get the in-jokes. Here now for your perusal, “The Crumble in the Jungle”…

The Crumble in the Jungle painting

“The Crumble in the Jungle” 36 x 24. Acrylic on Canvas. © Mark Tavares

I hope you liked it. The painting will be on display, for sale, at the Gallery for the next week or so. There are also numbered prints for sale. Head to the Creature Features website for info!

More to come! Thanks for reading!

-Mark

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Stan Against Evil and Dana Gould

Premiering November 2nd on IFC is a brand new comedy from Writer/Comedian Dana Gould called “Stan Against Evil”. It tells the tale of recently retired Sheriff Stan Miller (John C. McGinley) and newly appointed Sheriff Evie Barrett (Janet Varney) as they battle the 172 Demons that have descended upon their little town of Willard’s Mill, New Hampshire. I had the pleasure of seeing the first two episodes at a recent screening and the whole thing is quite funny! There are a number of references that could only have come from the mind of Dana Gould. It is fair to say that it occupies some of the same territory as “Ash VS. Evil Dead” but that’s okay. There is plenty of room there for everyone, AND it’s free!

My connection to the whole thing came about recently. I have been fortunate to work with Dana on a number of posters for his recent Stand-up gigs around the country. We share a lot of the same geek sensibilities which makes the assignments a true pleasure to work on. Having been aware of the painting I did of the cast of “Justified”, Dana inquired about the possibility of my doing a painting as a wrap gift for his cast. How could I say no? With “Justified”, I had seven seasons of material with which I was very familiar. “Stan” hadn’t even premiered yet. All I had was a reference shot of lead John McGinley. So, Dana gave me access to rough cuts of the first two episodes. It’s good to be the Executive Producer! After reviewing those, I had a good idea of the tone. I then set to work sketching a few ideas. Dana’s main requirement was for the setting to be the Witch’s Graveyard from the show. In addition to the videos, he also gave me some nice photo reference of the cast and the location. Armed with all of that, a design was agreed upon and I set to work on the painting. This was what emerged a short time later.

Stan Against Evil painting by Mark Tavares

“Stan Against Evil” 24 x 18. Acrylic on Masonite. © Mark Tavares

Dana and I both referenced Al Jaffee’s “Fold-In” illustrations in the back of every MAD Magazine as a style reference for this painting. I hope I managed to capture some of that essence here!

I highly recommend checking out the show. Head over to IFC for details by clicking this LINK!

Thanks for looking!

Also posted in Celebrity, Commissioned Art, Dana Gould, Halloween, Television, Uncategorized Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Willy Wonka meets James Bond

Willy Wonka meets James Bond!

Hello all! Once again, I find myself fortunate enough to be participating in another fun group art show hosted by the Creature Features Gallery in Burbank, CA. This show is called “Twits, Whizzpoppers, and Snozberries – The Roald Dahl Group Art Show”. As the title suggests, the show is paying tribute to Mr. Roald Dahl, the author of such classics as “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, “James and the Giant Peach”, and “The BFG” (the movie adaptation of which opens quite soon). For my contribution to the show, I went for a mashup, sort of Willy Wonka meets James Bond.

James Bond?

For those who might not be aware, Mr. Dahl in addition to writing the above mentioned children’s classics, also penned the screenplay to the James Bond film, “You Only Live Twice”. To promote the film, legendary painter and illustrator Robert McGinnis was brought in to create what I feel is some of the best key poster art ever realized for a Bond film. One piece in particular is his interpretation of a moment from the film wherein Bond, played by Sean Connery, is being bathed by several lovely Japanese women. It’s a ridiculously sexist image that perfectly encapsulates the James Bond attitude of that era. To drop Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka character into that visual along with a few OompaLoompas to me felt like the perfect way to push it all over into absurdity. So, here it is!

"The Suspense is Terrible" painting by Mark Tavares, a Willy Wonka meets James Bond mashup

“The Suspense is Terrible..I hope it lasts!” © Mark Tavares 24 x 18. Acrylic on Masonite.

The show opened on 6/26/2016 and will run for the next couple of weeks. The painting is for sale. There are also a very limited run of numbered prints available for purchase at the show. If none of that works for you, you can always purchase a print from my online print store by clicking on this link, or hitting the Buy Prints link over in the menu!

Thanks for looking!

-Mark

Also posted in Art for Sale, Celebrity, Movies, New Art, Uncategorized Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Dana Gould plays Helium Comedy in Portland (and I made a poster for it!)

I recently had the very good fortune to do some work for one of the smartest comedians working right now, Dana Gould. He has a new stand up show that he has been performing at clubs all around the country. On March 24 through 26, he will be bringing it to the Helium Comedy club in Portland, OR. To promote this series of stand up performances, Dana has commissioned several artists to create a unique poster for each venue on the schedule. On this occasion, it was my turn.

For those that don’t know Dana, in addition to being a top shelf humorist he is also know for being a tremendous geek. He has a tremendous love for all things science fiction and horror with special places in his heart reserved for the works of Ed Wood, and the “Planet of the Apes” film series. This is obviously something he and I have in common. We first met many years ago, back during my Makeup Effects days, when he came to K.N.B. EFX Group looking for like-minded folks to help bring his MTV puppet show “Super Adventure Team” to life. We bonded over Apes and Monsters and have been friends ever since. Over the years, Dana has asked me to create various pieces of personal art for him. The jobs are always fun and challenging. This time was no different.

The brief for this assignment was simple; create a parody of the cover art to the legendary EC comics “Tales From The Crypt” Issue Number 24. This is the original piece.

Thanks to mycomicshop.com for the image

Thanks to mycomicshop.com for the image

Like the other posters in the series, simplicity was the key. Even though we batted around various ideas, we decided to just stick with the close approximation of the original Feldstein art. After working on the composition, and the DG likeness, this is MY version.

Dana Gould Helium Comedy Poster Art by Mark Tavares

“Dana Gould Helium Comedy Poster” 11 x 17. Brush and Ink on Bristol Board with Digital Coloring and Text. © Mark Tavares

I am actually quite proud of this piece. In the past when I have done this kind of comic book style ink and coloring, I would get carried away with the inking details which I would then muddy up with too much digital color. This time I worked hard to restrain those tendencies and I believe it paid off.

As with his other shows, I believe Dana will be having some prints made which he will sign and sell at the show this weekend. I will also put them up on my print store sometime next week should anyone be interested. I’ll just make sure it’s cool with Dana first though.

If you happen to be in the Portland area this weekend, go check out his show! Tell him I sent you! http://portland.heliumcomedy.com/events/9118

Thanks for looking!

 

Also posted in Celebrity, General Musings, Things that Inspire Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Happy Birthday David Lynch

I am a little late on posting this here, I know, but Happy Birthday David Lynch! This is a little something I painted as a sort of birthday card to the famed director and monument to Eccentricity.

Happy Birthday David Lynch painting by Mark Tavares

“Happy Birthday David Lynch” Acrylic on Bristol Board. 14 x 17. © Mark Tavares

Given that a new “Twin Peaks” is on it’s way to screens sometime in the next..however many years, I thought this would be an appropriate background.

Thanks for looking!

Also posted in Art for Sale, Celebrity, General Musings, New Art, Television, Things that Inspire, Uncategorized Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Tiki Toons Show at Van Eaton Galleries

Mahalo! Tiki culture is experiencing a bit of an upswing again in my particular art world. I am entered in TWO shows with a Polynesian theme. The first starts tonight at the Van Eaton Animation Gallery in Sherman Oaks, CA. Artists are required to create art featuring any animated character, naturally, in a Tiki setting. Here is my entry entitled, “Paradise De Vil”.

Paradise De Vil by Mark Tavares

“Paradise De Vil” 18 x 24. Oil and Acrylic on Masonite. © Mark Tavares

The painting is for sale. I will also have prints available shortly through my Fine Art America store.

Yes, those are dog collars she is wearing for bracelets. I don’t know what is wrong with me.. 🙂

Head to Van Eaton Galleries website for more info!

Thanks for looking!

-Mark

Also posted in Art for Sale, Gallery Showings, New Art, Paintings for Sale, Site Business Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Ode to Justified

This was something about which I had to keep my trap shut. Now, all can be revealed.

This season is the final one for the FX network show, “Justified”. This show has been a favorite of mine from the get-go. It has great characters, crackling dialogue, and like most of the original programming on FX, it pulls no punches. I highly suggest Netflix-ing it if you don’t already watch.
 
A few weeks back, I was approached by my friend, John Harrington, who is the Prop Master for the show. It is customary for cast and crew departments to exchange gifts at the end of a series. John wanted to do something unique. Knowing my fondness for caricature, he hired me to create this painting. John wanted something a little reminiscent of Jack Davis in style and humor, but not as kinetic. I sketched up a few ideas and we went with a portrait of the main characters hanging out in Johnny’s Bar.
 
Even though we decided to limit it to the main cast, I had to try and get some of the other terrific characters from the show into the painting as well. I included as many “shout outs” as possible in the background, not the least of which being author and creator of Raylan Givens, Elmore Leonard. ..and yes, just like on the show, everyone is packing heat! Prints were made and are being distributed to the cast and crew even as I type this post. I do hope they like them. It was a tremendous honor and pleasure to be able to give something back to one of my favorite shows on television!
"Ode to Justified" 18 x 24. Acrylic on Masonite. © Mark Tavares

“Ode to Justified” 18 x 24. Acrylic on Masonite. © Mark Tavares

 
The even better news is that once the cast and crew get theirs, I can offer prints for sale through my Fine Art America store. So, stay tuned!
Thanks for looking!
Also posted in Paintings for Sale, Television, Things that Inspire, Uncategorized Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , |