Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Quentin Taratino and I are BASTERDS!

"...and through our cruelty they will know who we are."
- Lt. Aldo Raine, "Inglourious Basterds"

I've been sitting on a throne of Nazi secrets....kinda.
One of the most fun, most intricate, and digitally-bloodiest projects I've worked on in a while has finally been unveiled (above).
SA Studios Global's Film Marketing Division has teamed up with Quentin Tarantino, 12 Artists, Upper Playground and The Weinstein Company to present, "THE LOST ART OF INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS". And I am lucky enough to be one of those Basterds.
The above print, along with 11 other ultra-limited (ONLY EDITIONS OF 6!) prints, signed by Quentin Tarantino, will be exhibited this Thursday, Feb 18th At The Upper Playground Art Gallery in LA from 6-9 PM.
Here is the press release and info about the show and the charity involved, and below is some of my personal thoughts and details about the piece, which is easily my favorite art I have created in years.


SA Studios Global's Film Marketing Division has teamed up with Quentin Tarantino, Upper Playground and The Weinstein Company to present, THE LOST ART OF INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS.

On February 18th, 2010 from 6p - 9p the world will get to preview and purchase the “Lost Art of Inglorious Basterds” at The Upper Playground Art Gallery in Downtown Los Angeles. All proceeds from this program will be donated to The American Red Cross to help the victims of the Haiti Earthquake.

This creative team has assembled the following select group of accomplished artists, David Choe, Sam Flores, Estevan Oriol, Grotesk, Jeremy Fish, Patrick Martinez, Alex Pardee, Dora Drimalas, Munk One, N8 Van Dyke, Rene Alamanza, Morning Breath and Skinner Davis, to create their own poster art based off their interpretation of the Oscar Nominated film, “Inglourious Basterds” artwork.

Each print will be numbered and signed by Quentin Tarantino. Only six (6) of each amount will be made.

The gallery will open will be open to the general public from 6p – 9p on Thursday February 18th, 2010 at Upper Playground Los Angeles located at 125 East 6th Street in Downtown LA. Attendees will have the opportunity to purchase the limited edition prints for $300. The prints are only available for purchase at Upper Playground, Los Angeles. Phone orders and web orders will not be accepted. Prints will be sold on a first come, first serve basis. The purchase of prints will be limited to one per buyer.

You can view all of the other posters

Direct link to see all posters:


And now on to my ranting about the piece...
From start to finish, working on a "Basterds" image was easily the most fun I have had creating art in years. And because of that, it was one of the most time consuming.
The image I chose to create depicts, in simple terms, a vengeful Jewish-American slicing the neck of a Nazi soldier. However, every aspect of the composition, subject matter, and execution of the art was carefully planned out and all of elements fit perfectly within Tarantino's "Basterds" universe.
I chose to personify the Jewish-American soldier as a Bald Eagle not only because the Eagle is one of the most symbolic icons used in representing the United States, but the soldier, as a victim of Naziism, has been transformed from a humble man into a vengeful "bird of prey". In addition, with the Jewish population becoming the victims of an impending Genocide before and during WW2, in a way, Jewish citizens were, as a whole, becoming and "endangered species", much like the Bald Eagle.
The Nazi soldier is depicted, simply, as a Demon, complete with green skin and "blonde" horns.
Upon slicing the next of the Demon, gallons and gallons of monstrous, hate-filled blood pours out, revealing and representing years of anti-semitism, oppression, and a distaste for "parasitic races" (a term used to define other races by the Nazis, and the inspiration for the gore to resemble parasites). The Swastika appearing in the blood is simply a representation that this execution encompasses the whole Nazi regime, not just the one individual demon.
Though the backdrop of the film is World War 2, I created a more intimate composition between 2 characters rather than a large scale epic war scene because Tarantino's film is a much more character-driven film with smaller, more intimate encounters and conversations. However, we CAN see the Paris skyline in the background, as well as a small flag being waved in the distance, most likely a Nazi flag as the Nazis have occupied France during this time.
And if you look closely, the sky is filling with more eagles, foreshadowing that the Nazi's reign may be coming to an end soon.

Here are some random detail and in progress shots of the piece, as I seriously wanted this to be the most detailed piece I've ever done. Don't know if I succeeded, but I had fun. Now that I think about it, that's probably how Jamie Kennedy describes his career. Cool, I finally have something in common with him:)

Anyway, check out the details, check out the other posters, and come down tot he show if you are in LA. I will be there drinking root beer and floating around so say whattup! word.

During the original sketch phase, I wanted to make the Jewish-American more of a humanoid wearing a makeshift Eagle costume, but it made more sense to just go ahead and make him an actual eagle.