When it comes to old technology it seems that there are really only three uses left open for us when it fails to be of interest to the masses. One is to just discard it, the second is to collect it while the third option is to modify it. It is the third option which interests me the most and it seems French based artist and F.X creator Patrick Massobrio and his partner Nan are equally as interested and by taking an old format and creating something quite incredible. This is VHS Art as you have never seen it before.
Lunchmeat magazine (a fanzine and website devoted to the VHS format and its fans) creator Josh Schafer recently caught up with Patrick and asked him about his reasoning behind using this older form of media as inspiration for his artwork.
I built my cinema culture through VHS. As a kid, I spent a lot of time in video stores renting as many movies as I could. The atmosphere of these stores [and] the art on the boxes are totally unforgettable. I really have a lot of nostalgia for this era. Curiously, I was never able to rent a DVD. To me, all the magic in these stores was gone when VHS were replaced. Disliking, like a lot of people, the wave of unattractive Photo Shopped posters that was becoming the norm for cinema posters and video market, I started painting a poster for an imaginary vintage cheesy horror movie called HELL BELLS. The first incarnation was on canvas, but then, I thought it would be cooler to do another version of it not on but IN a VHS box. So I cut up a hole in it and added some sculpted elements to the initial drawing. Now looking at the box was like seeing the poster art and an actual scene from the movie at the same time. The “VIDEO NASTIES” series was born and we [expanded] it with other genres like Mexican wrestler movies, Bruceploitation, etc.
If you want to read the full article regarding Patrick’s and Nan’s work and their obvious love of the VHS format the link to it is here. Below is a collection of this VHS art for your enjoyment.
VIDEO NASTIES #4: BRUCE LEE VS. UNPLEASANT GOAT. Acrylic. VHS box. 12.5 x 20 cm approx.
“Video-Club Memories 4: Freddy”. Plexiglas. Print on plank. 32 x 44,5 cm.
“Video-Club Memories 1: Michael”. VHS Box. Plexiglas. Print on plank. 32 x 44,5 cm.
VIDEO NASTIES #1: HELL BELLS . Acrylic. Silicone. VHS box. 12.5 x 20 cm approx.
“Video-Club Memories 3: Jason”. VHS Box. Plexiglas. Print on plank. 32 x 44,5 cm.
“Video-Club Memories 2: LeatherFace”. Leather. Plexiglas. Print on plank. 32 x 44,5 cm
VIDEO NASTIES #5: PAC MANIAC. Acrylic. Silicone. VHS box. 12.5 x 20 cm approx.
“Video-Club Memories 5: Winslow”. VHS Box. Plexiglas. Print on plank. 32 x 44,5 cm.
“Video Club Memories 6: Pinhead”. VHS. Nails. Plexiglas. Print on plank. 32 x 44,5 cm.
VIDEO NASTIES #2: RAYMOND. Acrylic. Silicone. VHS box. 12.5 x 20 cm approx.
VIDEO NASTIES #3: SANTO VS. LOS CHIHUAHUAS VAMPIROS. Acrylic. VHS box. 12.5 x 20 cm approx.
“Video Club Memories 7: Snake”. VHS. Leather. Plexiglas. Print on plank. 32 x 44,5 cm.
Now I am slightly biased about this particular art form as I am a collector myself but it is hard to not be impressed by the pieces below. Not only do they have their own character but because of the F.X background they have been created in a way that they manage to leap out of their VHS screens, the 3D style element is superb to look at. The slightly deformed style is unnerving yet incredible to look at. But if VHS is not your thing but you dig the style of the art, then do not worry as they have created other art work which retains that unique style that the above pieces showcased.
“ALIEN VS. TAIKONAUTS 2: Phone Home”. Acrylic. Silicone. 35 x 27 cm. Under plexiglass cap.
“Cartoon Heroes”. Acrylic on Canvas. Resin. 55 x 65 cm.
“Enter the Dragon”. Acrylic on Wood. Resin. 60 x 120 cm.
“Everybody was Kung-Fu fighting”. 15x15cm. Acrylic on canvas & resin.
A Work in Progress.
You can view the rest of the artwork on their Facebook page as well as his website. At this moment in time the art is not readily available and can only be purchased at his galleries. Fingers crossed in the near future however this will change and we will all be given the opportunity to own a tailor made piece of VHS art. It is a hell of a way to keep the medium alive!