The mash up genre has gone from strength to strength in the last few years. It takes a certain type of artist to be able to blend these different styles of genres and characters together. It takes an even better artist to be able to combine different eras of art together. This is what creator Jeremy Wheeler has been able to do brilliantly.
Bang Media is the place where most of his artwork is showcased but his work can be seen all over. A little while ago, we were given the opportunity to exclusively reveal the excellent War On Hell, Hellboy inspired piece that he did for the guys at Ka-Pow Posters. Jeremy’s unforgettable style manages to combine a 70’s and 80’s aesthetic to reproduce classic characters and showcases some of his own interesting mash ups. The great use of lavish colour and hugely animated images make his artwork spring to life off the page and reminds me of some of the better examples of 70’s Vinyl art and underground art from that era.
Below is a selection of some of my personal favourites from the Bang Media webpage.
A selection of his artwork is also available for sale so if any of the above seemed interesting to you then you should start getting your credit card out and get it ready to buy some of these delightfully psychedelic pieces.
13″x19.5″ blacklight limited edition silkscreen print. Series of 70 (Rare). $50.00.
18”x24” silkscreen print made for the recent VHS convention, Tape Eaters 2. Hand-drawn pen-and-ink printed on white paper (edition of 50). $15.00.
12″x18″ silkscreen poster for Eisner Award winning comic shop Vault of Midnight. Series of 50. $15.00.
12″x18″ blacklight silkscreen poster. Series of 60. $30.00.
9”x24” (Edition of 60). $15.
Measuring 18”x24,” the 3-color print was screened with a unique blacklight process developed through multiple projects by the artist and printing studio VG Kids. hand-drawn pen-and-ink artwork. When put under UV light, the already vibrant red turns an electric pink/magenta, while the green remains intense under both. $25.00.
11″x17″ silkscreen print. Series of 55. $15.00.
Bang Media Facebook page and website is full of different pieces of his art as well as other interesting pieces so it is a site worth checking out. You can contact Jeremy through Twitter as well. The link to Bang Media’s store is also included so you can get quick access to his interesting work.
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!
Technology moves so fast. With phones seemingly getting updated every two seconds and constant technological advancements happening all around us, it may be strange and petty to moan about DVD and Blu Ray covers. Regardless, that is what I am about to do! DVD cover art has stagnated for quite some time.
The release of DVD in 1993 seemed to be an incredible advancement from VHS, which ruled the roost since the 80’s. What the format lacked in character (VHS and its character is an article for another day perhaps?) it made up for in incredible picture quality and numerous special features. However what it failed to bring with it was great cover artwork. Gone were the good (and sometimes bad) artwork created for the clunky VHS case and in came posed photo covers, or worse yet, the dreaded photo shop. A case in point is the James Bond films. When released on VHS they had superb painted covers showing James Bond always smiling while getting shot at or blown up. When the DVD releases came out they ditched all this for very basic photo covers of the lead actor and nothing else. It was probably the cost which pushed this type of artwork back away from the mainstream as it is probably cheaper to take a photo than get an artist to create something from scratch. Also the allure of DVD extras was enough to get people to buy the new medium when back in the VHS era the artwork was one of the main hooks.
This is an art site after all and what you folk want to see is some great bits of original art. Well in the last few years a few sites have taken note of our (or most probably just my) pain and decided enough is enough. With DVD extras now common place people are looking around for something truly special to get them to pick up a movie and these sites offer that. So in part one of a two part feature I just want to focus on two companies that I have noticed recently committed to bringing not just quality movies to us, but quality art covers to.
First up is Arrow Films. They have been around since 1991 and are committed to bringing a wide, eclectic range of movies to the home video market. Below is a quote from their website telling us a little about themselves.
Arrow Films is an all rights multi-platform distributor of feature films and TV series. We specialise in releasing some of the best content from around the world to UK customers and beyond. Since 1991, through Arrow’s diverse and rich product mix, one of the most energetic and cutting edge labels in British distribution has been forged. Recent accolades include being named Label of the Year by prestigious publications as the Guardian and Home Cinema Choice and over the years having multiple finalists in Sight and Sound’s best DVDs of the year as well as winning the British Video Association’s Marketing Initiative of the Year. Arrow’s global reputation as one of the finest labels in the world has come about through consistent high quality product and a focus on fan-based products always at its core. This includes a major investment on restoring original material through modern techniques as well as pioneering packaging solutions and newly commissioned artwork for each release.
The commitment to the fans of cinema, no matter how obscure the content, is one thing to be admired. The other is their dedication to great and knock out cover art. Below is an example of some of their better covers. Though it is difficult to credit the artists who drew the piece as it does not always say who the artist is on the DVD I have done my best. If nothing else we can at the very least admire their art through this article and hopefully that will be credit in itself. So sit back and enjoy an art filled trip down memory lane as a lot of these covers encapsulate all that was great with the VHS era and most probably of lot of people’s memories of childhood. Someone has at last got it right!
Artwork by Tom ‘The Dude Designs’ Hodge
Artwork by Graham Humphrie
Artwork by Tom ‘The Dude Designs’ Hodge
Artwork by Craig Kraaken
Artwork by Rick Melton
Artwork by Justin Erickson of Phantom City Creative
Artwork by Ghoulish Gary Pullin
Artwork by Tom Hodge & Rick Melton
Artwork by Jeff Zornow
Artwork by Graham Humphrie
You can look at other Arrow releases though their website, Facebook and Twitter page. Some of the covers I haven’t included because of the explicit content, checking out their sites out is the best way to see the rest of this awesome art.
In a future article, we will focus on the inventive work of Shout Factory as well as other imaginative, one-off releases from other companies. So, lovers of cover art, keep your eyes peeled for that one.