Category Archives: Twilight Zone

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

Also posted in Art for Sale, Caricature, Celebrity, Creature Features, Dino DeLaurentis, Gallery Showings, Movies, New Art, Painting, Paintings for Sale, Uncategorized Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Happy New Year 2016!

Welcome to the brand new year everyone! My family and I had a wonderful Holiday. I hope you all did as well.

One of the great things that happens around this time of year is the “SyFy” channel’s three day marathon of “Twilight Zone” episodes. Just having them on during the day as we went about our Holiday routine provided a wonderful soundtrack to our New Year’s weekend. Rod Serling’s creation while dated in some superficial aspects, continues to stand the test of time. The stories are as powerful today as they were when first broadcast.

Rod Serling himself has always been a fascinating character to me. His onscreen manner as the host of  “The Twilight Zone” with his trademark tight-lipped delivery and ever-present cigarette is the stuff of TV legend. I had made attempts in the past to capture his likeness in a sketch but I was never completely successful. Having binge watched all five seasons over the weekend, and then having seen a fellow artist’s rendering of the man, I was inspired to try to capture Mr. Serling’s likeness once more.

Oil Painting of Rod Serling by Mark Tavares

“Rod Serling” 16 x 20. Oil and Acrylic on Canvas Board. © Mark Tavares

Not a bad way to start the new year, if you ask me! As with my other works, this painting is for sale. Please contact me if interested. I will also be selling prints through my Fine Art America store.

I am looking forward to the artistic challenges this new year will bring, both with my personal work and the reinvigorating of my business, Humerus. Of course, commission work is always welcome! 🙂

Thanks for looking and have a Happy 2016!

-Mark

Also posted in Art for Sale, General Musings, Happy New Year, New Art, Paintings for Sale, Television, Things that Inspire Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Happy Halloween 2012!

I just wanted to take a moment to wish everyone here, a belated “Happy Halloween”, and share a picture or two of the outfit my lovely wife, Erin Haggerty, wore to work for the day!

Erin as an "Eye of the Beholder" Nurse

My lovely wife!!

This year, instead of a zombie or some other generic subject, Erin decided to go as a specific character. For those of you under 25 who might not recognize it, she is portraying a nurse from the classic “Twilight Zone” episode, “Eye of the Beholder”.  Here is a clip from the episode featuring the make-ups.

 

Erin had been wanting to do this for the past two years. We talked about it on and off, but never really decided to pull the trigger on it. That was until we were passing by a second hand shop in September and found the perfect Nurse’s outfit. Now the pressure was on. To make matters worse, Erin’s boss had high expectations as well. Time to get to work!

Working for Don Post Studios for the past several years, there has been no call for me to create appliance make-ups. Erin’s make-ups for the previous Halloween seasons were accomplished using generic store bought appliances and materials. I decided it was time to suck it up and get back to my Make-up Effects roots.

I bought Ultracal-30.

I bought a kit of Foam Latex.

I bought clay!

I bought a FOAM OVEN!

Long story short, it was great to get back “into harness”. I had almost forgotten how much I enjoyed the art of doing make-ups like this. It was also interesting re-learning some of the technical steps of the process. In the end, there were some rough spots. Still, for not having done a real make-up in some years, I am actually quite happy with the result.

It also worked out well for Erin too. During her many years at NBC/Universal Studios, Erin was one of the very few people who did anything for Halloween. So, there wasn’t a whole lot of competition. This year, however, she went to work for the “G4” Television Network. They share a building with both the “Style” and “E-Entertainment” networks. These three companies take Halloween VERY seriously. Lots of folks dress up. There is a pumpkin carving exhibition and, of course, a costume contest. With big prizes at stake and the whole building watching, I am proud to say I helped Erin tie for third place. I was given to understand competition was fierce. Both “E” and “Style” who usually sweep the awards, had some heavy hitters. Erin held her own though. I am very satisfied. Next year, we go for FIRST!

Must start planning now…

So, how was YOUR Halloween?

The New Foam OvenBake-outFoam RunningNurse ErinErin at G4

Also posted in Eye of the Beholder, G4, Halloween, Make-up Effects