King for a day, the new exhibit opening at Hero Complex Gallery in Los Angeles this weekend and running until april 6th, features art work inspired by horror mesiter Stephen King. Among poster posse members presenting pieces are Robert Bruno, Nick Comperone, Patrick Colom, Harlan Elam, Chris Garofalo, peter Guitterez, Tom Mitake, David Moscati, Kaz Oomori, Adam Rabalais, Paul Shipper and Chris Skinner. A portion of all proceeds of the show will benefit Mr. King’s charity of choice, The Haven Foundation, a non-profit service that serves to benefit freelance creatives of all types who have found themselves unable to work due to disease or accident.
Artist quotes are from interviews done by blurrpy.com
“When I heard this show was going to be based on the works of Stephen King I instantly knew I wanted to do a Dark Tower themed print. The story is so rich and diverse, cowboys, magic, industrial machinery all create great visuals in your mind. I decided to incorporate various elements from the stories, roses, an old western gun and the main one being a Hawk which is also referred to as ‘God’s Gunslinger’ in the stories, hence the title of this print. The Hawk is such a cool looking bird which looks very noble and sits well alongside the other classic elements which hopefully gives this work an ‘old world’ feel and air of authenticity.”
” I chose these two pieces by Stephen King first and foremost because they are two of my favorite stories and film adaptations. It’s rare that a director can take such a powerful story and transform it and retain the integrity of the writing into a feature film. Frank Darabont did just this with each one.
I wanted to do both as I feel that “The Green Mile” and the “Shawshank Redemption” share a lot of the same characteristics. Both are prison tales in which there is a dynamic relationship among the inmates and in the Green Miles case a relationship with an inmate and the guards. Both contain elements of a higher power in the form of faith and belief. And finally, both stories leave the audience with an inspired and awestruck feeling. These pieces are my ode to two of my favorite stories and films.”
“I enjoy the irony of a small motor vehicle named Silver Bullet, fleeing from the werewolf omen in the smoke. Buyer beware, this piece was created for either orientations. So will it all go downhill or is it an uphill battle?”
“I wanted to pick something for King for A Day that wasn’t the standard Horror/ supernatural story that King is known for and it did take a while to decide what I wanted to do as Shawshank and Green Mile are both in my top 10 films. In the end I chose ‘Stand By Me’ as I remember watching this as a kid and really enjoying it. I loved the adventure of it all, four friends going on this big adventure into the wild.”
“The print incorporates some of the main moments and iconography from the film, such as the train which plays out one of the more memorable scenes from the film, the focal point of the print is the poignant moment when the boys adventure finally reaches its conclusion and they come face to face with the body of Ray Bower, theres also a little nod to the moment Geordie has on the tracks with the Deer as that scene contains some of the deepest symbolism (well to me anyway) in the film and I felt the print wouldn’t be complete without incorporating an aspect of that scene in there in some way.”
“I really enjoyed this print and it will be the first screen print I’ve ever done for a gallery so I hope you all like it.”
“I am a big reader and Stephen King has always been in my general rotation of books. I really wanted to focus on one of his works that, in my opinion, was just as impactful as a book as it was in film. And “Pet Sematary” as a film, I will never forget. In fact I believe I saw the movie first and then went back and read the book. Both are equally as terrifying. What I really wanted to accomplish with my piece, was to represent the story, not necessarily being specific to the book or movie. I only hope that my art reflects the unsettling nature of the story and that I made true Stephen King fans proud.”
“Why did I choose ‘IT’ for the ‘King for a Day’ show? Simple… I saw this TV movie when I was 7, all alone, in my parents bedroom on the 2nd floor of my house. I have to say that the room was attached to the attic, which terrified me at this time.
“No need to say that this movie gave me nightmares for several years and I now realize that this poster, for me, was kind of like therapy! Tim Curry and his interpretation of Pennywise traumatized me and a whole generation, that’s why this poster is dedicated to them!”
“Although ‘The Mist’ was behind the inspiration for this piece, I wanted to create an image that captures Mr. King’s body of work as a whole without giving away too quickly what specific story the image actually belongs too. The mood I was going for was mysterious, dark and horrifying but with a sense of hope and wonder. Trying to capture the work of Stephen King in one image is impossible but hopefully I did him some kind of justice here. Also, there are some words, easter eggs engraved/scratched into the window areas of the piece which is always fun.”
“I chose ‘The Green Mile’ because of the movie’s limited circumstances (the prison) and the era it is set in. Human events partnered with supernatural power, they are a condensed view of the world of Stephen King. The stage is the United States in the 1930s so I wanted the print to have a vintage feel to it. True fans of the film / book will notice the presence of Mr. Jingles who, for me, is the key to the story. He exists somewhere. Can you find him ?”
“ The Dark Tower is an epic story told on a scale I haven’t experienced before or since. Stephen King managed to merge plot lines and characters from his other properties to form a singular universe. I wanted to do the same by combining three major characters from the series to form one continuous shape. The Dark Tower, the gunslinger’s pistol and Roland himself all stand front and center atop the field of roses. Fans of the series may find some hidden easter eggs so look closely.”
“Pet Sematary was a film I remember seeing for the first time at a sleepover party back in elementary school…..which I ended up not sleeping a wink due to the fact that it creeped me out in ways that still hold up to this day. The way the moon lit a various number of scenes was both calming and unnerving at the same time, which is why its an exaggerated focal point in my print. The GID image was meant to symbolize that eerie realization that some things just won’t stay dead, and they come back much, much worse.”
“Out of the whole breadth of the Stephen King library, The “Shawshank Redemption” was always going to be my number one choice. Even though out of the collection it probably has the least amount of visual scope, being more drama than supernatural, the movie and story was the one that resonated with me the most. Because of this attachment I felt a creative pressure to illustrate a poster that both was emotionally connective as well as visually striking, one that lives up to the reputation of the classic status the movie has earned. I used the key theme of the movie as the basis for my poster; Hope. That was the key point I needed the poster to convey, that unwavering sense of hope that Andy has whilst being wrongly imprisoned. Using little connective visuals such as the Chess pieces and the Warden’s shoes to tie it back to the story, the idea of the poster comes from Andy’s iconic statement; “Get busy living, or get busy dying”.
”I was really stoked on this show when Adam from Hero Complex mentioned it to me. I had just recently seen Stephen King speak and I’m a big book collector. He’s always been a staple in my family. I laid out a lot of roughs for this show but I knew I had to paint The Stand, and I really wanted to touch upon something Dark Tower. Pet Sematary wasn’t even really on my list but I roughed out that painting and loved it, so I went ahead and painted it. The composition of Gage and the cat, and the proportion of the piece, set me in the direction of doing this companion piece of Randall Flagg and a crow.”
“Just like you always see similar themes, places, and characters in the King universe, I wanted to have two pieces that tied together in some way. The Stand has always been one of favorite novels by Stephen King and I remember watching the miniseries on TV when it came out. Randall Flagg is the ultimate King villain and seems to pop up in so many places, including his major role in The Dark Tower series.”
“I actually hadn’t planned the tower in the original composition, and it wasn’t until after all the stencils were cut that I decided to try it out on a test piece to see how it looked. So I’m quite happy to have gotten my Dark Tower reference into a piece. The Tower here is a throwback to the Michael Whelan depiction in The Gunslinger, and the title of the painting comes from the poem ‘The Dark Man’, Stephen King’s first manifestation of Randall Flagg, ‘The Walkin’ Dude.’”
“The painting is first hand drawn in pencil and ink, then each layer of the stencil is cut with an x-acto. I built and stretched the canvas, as it’s a non-standard size, and then it’s collaged with materials from ‘The Gunslinger’ and ‘The Stand.’ Finally each layer is sprayed with spray paint.”