The ugliest thing I’ve seen is a video of a dog being cooked alive and a picture of a cat being skinned alive. Both were on Facebook. I’ll never forgive whoever posted them. Dogs are my friends. The scarcest thing that has ever happened to me was my grandfather chasing us around a dark house wearing a caveman mask when we were little kids.
I enjoy muddy colors, the colors the Old Masters used. I just like the warmth and earthiness of them. I use whatever color seems appropriate to me based on what I know about color and how I want the paintings to look.
Art is magick. I don’t think it influences my artwork any differently now that I practice. It’s more like I am aware that it’s basically the same process.
What is Ego Death? The show started with a title, “Ego Death”, and then I built a show around that. The term is pretty misunderstood. In a nutshell It refers to temporarily losing your sense of identity, usually from psychedelics which is a legitimate mystical experience.
There are too many contemporary artists I like. You can look at the Dark Art Society podcast since the majority of the artists I have interviewed I am a fan of. The only new band I can think of that I like is Invasives.
written by ©Chet Zar
Born on November 12th, 1967, in the harbor town of San Pedro, CA, Chet Zar’s interest in art began at an early age. His parents were always very supportive and never put any limits on his creativity. His entire childhood was spent drawing, sculpting and painting.
Zar’s interest in the darker side of art began in the earliest stages of his life. A natural fascination with all things strange fostered within himself a deep connection to horror movies and dark imagery. He could relate to the feelings of fear, anxiety and isolation that they conveyed. These are themes which had permeated most of his childhood drawings and paintings and are reflected in his work to this day.
The combined interest in horror films and art eventually culminated into a career as a special effects make up artist, designer and sculptor for the motion picture industry, designing and creating creatures and make up effects effects for such films as, “The Ring”, “Hellboy I & II”, “Planet of the Apes” and the critically acclaimed music videos for the art metal band Tool. Zar also embraced the digital side of special effects as well, utitlizing the computer to translate his dark vision with 3D animation for Tool’s live shows and subsequently releasing many of them on his own DVD of dark 3D animation, “Disturb the Normal”.
But the many years spent dealing with all of the politics and artistic compromises of the film industry left Zar feeling creatively stagnant. At the beginning of 2000 (at the suggestion of horror author Clive Barker), he decided to go back to his roots and focus on his own original works and try his hand at fine art, specifically painting in oils. The result has been a renewed sense of purpose, artistic freedom and a clarity of vision that is evident in his darkly surreal (and often darkly humorous) paintings.
His artistic influences include painter James Zar (stepfather and artistic mentor), Beksinski, H.R. Giger, Frank Frazetta, M.C. Escher, Bosch, John Singer Sargent and Norman Rockwell just to name a few.
“Chet’s art is beautiful & scary. His style has a modern twist crashing into a classical approach. I think Chet is a master painter on his way to making a great mark in our little world. Wanna do something smart with your money? Invest in a Chet Zar painting.” – Adam Jones (TOOL)