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Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Fly - 30 Years Later - Gallery 1988

It's hard to believe that I was 15 years old when "The Fly" was released. I was always enamored with Jeff Goldblum's performance as Seth Brundle, the confident scientist that you felt for as he slowly transformed and fell apart in every way. Hard not to feel for a guy reaching up and losing an ear!

Gallery 1988 Is now presenting the show "30 Years Later", showcasing movies that are 3 decades old this year! A difficult choice when you have such classics in the mix as Labyrinth, Stand By Me,  Little Shop of Horrors, and Aliens to choose from. I felt "The Fly" was one of those rare remade B-movie-esque horror flicks that really deserved some attention.

7308 Melrose Ave. Los Angeles CA 90046
Opening Reception Friday March 25, 2016 - 7-10pm


"I'm an Insect Who Dreamt He Was A Man and Loved It."
8"x24"  
Acrylic on canvas.


As with most of my traditional pieces, this one started out on the iPad. 


There is a classic photo of Goldblum naked in the teleportation device that served for the inspiration here. I elongated his frame and (of course) stylized his face.


Rough drawing on canvas (above) - the nose is meant to harken back to the baboon in the movie - the one that didn't quite make it through the experimentation phase. Goldblum reminds me a bit of a monkey-man with his lean structure, and his nakedness openly embraces the primate feel.


Some blocked in color - I was purposefully using those hot pinks and teals that the 80's embraced.  


One of my favorite parts of the movie is the synthetic-tasting steak (getting blocked in below). I loved the idea of a machine doing it's best to replicate the original product, but somehow failing simply because of it's nature of being a machine. The steak lacks the essence of what makes it steak! Only Geena Davis had the pleasure of tasting it and conveying this to us. Someone has got to start a band with the name - "Geena Davis' Tongue"


I added black in-between the over-lit and under-lit areas. I've really never done an illustration like this before. I like the idea that there is this growing "darkness" somewhere between the fly and the man.


Below you can see a bit of double checking the "Fly monster" details. Those coarse hairy fly arms were terrific in the movie! [spoilers] The splitting head in the illustration is pretty much how the creature meets it's demise. Poor tortured soul. I needed another color to promote that wonderful regurgitated goo that The Fly kept barfing up. I experimented and ended up defining the outer edges of the monster parts in that bright yellow acrylic - giving a bit more energy and a pop feel to the art. 


 It was late in the game when I reconsidered the eye direction. A tough call since I liked Goldblum engaging with the viewer, but I decided that his connection to the bitty fly above was more important, and I turned his gaze upward. I also colored the human and fly eyes yellow to draw a subtle connection to the monster parts.


The whole piece sitting complete and ready to ship! Had fun working this one up. If you are in LA, I hope you get a chance to stop by Gallery 1988 and see it in person. I've already seen a teaser for another great Fly piece and I hope Goldblum gets a good nod from us for his 30th anniversary!