The Horror Honeys: SXSW Feature: The Frazetta Gallery

SXSW Feature: The Frazetta Gallery

A Head Honey SXSW Experience by Kat

I've been obsessed with the work of fantasy artist Frank Frazetta since I was a teen, his work adorned my walls, my notebooks and my sketchbooks, not to mention I was drawn to books whose covers featured his work, I didn't care what the book was about, I read it because Frazetta had done the cover.
Robert Rodriguez introduces us to the gallery while I hid in the back of the pack.
Genre favorite, Robert Rodriguez, who is currently working on a live action adaptation of Frazetta's Fire and Ice (1983), an animated film based on Frazetta’s work, and co-written by the artist is curating a mind-blowing art gallery featuring original Frazetta works. Also showcased are the works of Drew Struzan, Frank Miller, Sebastian Kruger, and props from Rodriguez’s films. Rodriguez himself met two press tours this morning, and I was thrilled to have a place in the first tour. Rodriguez gave us some insight into the works selected for the gallery and pointed out a few of his personal favorites. I was thrilled to discover that we shared a mutual love of one image in particular.

Egyptian Queen
Rodriguez also shared a tidbit about Salma Hayek's portrayal of Satanico Pandemonium in From Dusk Till Dawn, that the look of her character was based on Frazetta's work - specifically a painting titled Moon Maiden. Frazetta created a poster for the film and Rodriguez shared the fact that Frazetta was adamant that the poster should just feature Salma, he begrudgingly added the other characters after the fact. Rodriguez also pointed out that Frazetta didn't add any vampires to the painting, substituting them instead for his "typical ape creatures and elongating the teeth."

One of the most striking additions to the gallery is a rare self-portrait:

"This was famously painted after Frank lost his temper. He tore up a fence, and when he went into his home he saw his expression in a mirror. He sat and painted what he saw, capturing a quiet savagery in what has to be one of the greatest and most visceral self-portraits of all time."

As a teen, something about Frazetta's work really spoke to me; and this morning, seeing in person as an adult, the original pieces I had collected in printed form really hit me hard. When I was younger, my love for Frazetta's work was all about the world he created within his pieces. Before I really understood what it was that pulled me to his work, the movement, unique mythology, and mood of each painting was a powerful thing. Seeing the paintings in person I was shocked to feel even more connected to the expressions of powerful feminine energy and the overwhelming sensuality of each piece. 

Moon Maiden
Frank Miller called this "The best ass in art," because Frank Miller. 
Another gallery highlight (for me anyway) was a collection of collaborative paintings inspired by Rodriguez' work with artist George Yepes and made by the actors in Rodriguez' Sin City films. Known as The Artist Series, this collection was created in an amazingly unique way. Yepes teaches master classes under the condition that the people he teaches in turn teach someone else. Rodriguez thought the best way to do that, was to teach his actors. During the filming of Sin City, the actors were asked to paint two canvases, any way they chose. Rodriguez would then take a photograph of the actor in character, and layer a line drawing of the photo overtop of the pre-painted canvasses. The piece would then be finished with minor details, and usually filling in the eyes and lips which Rodriguez himself would paint. 

"Nancy" by Rodriguez and Jessica Alba

"Lady Gaga did some crazy things to this canvas,
she scratched it with her nails and everything..." - Rodriguez

"Bruce painted the background to look like a snowstorm, it was really cool." - Rodriguez

 "Josh was obsessed with this painting..." - Rodriguez
A special addition to the gallery were some selected props from Rodriguez' films. George Cloony's Stake Jackhammer used in From Dusk Till Dawn, KNB FX pieces by Greg Nicotero, selected pieces from Spy Kids 2, and weaponized guitar cases from El Mariachi.


If you're around Austin, be sure to check out the Frazetta Gallery. 
No SXSW pass is required, and your entry fee benefits 
Frank Frazetta Art.

Robert Rodriguez drawn by Drew Sturzan 
Original art by Frank Miller

George Yepes

George Yepes

George Yepes - One of my favorites

The Thing by Drew Sturzan