Hey kiddies! This is a recent project I photographed for Famous Monsters of Filmland Magazine called PICKMAN’S MASTERPIECE.
This sequence of images is based on a short story by H.P. Lovecraft called PICKMAN’S MODEL. This story was originally published in 1927 in Weird Tales. I was attracted to this project because of the character of Pickman – who in Lovecraft’s mythology is a brilliant but marginalized artist notorious for his horrifying artwork. Due to the graphic and disturbing nature of his work, he is shunned by his fellow artists.
All of this struck me as eerily familiar.
With limited time and budget, I chose to focus on the moment in the story when Pickman brings Thurber, the narrator, into his underground studio to show him his Masterpiece – his greatest and worst work – the one that can never be shown in public.
Instead of creating one heroic image, I wanted to create a sequence of images as if they were shots from a scene in an old Hammer movie.
The character of Thurber was played by Damian Blake, a talented performer and professional Charlie Chaplin impersonator. He was able to provide his own vintage wardrobe and grew a handlebar moustache just for this project. Here you can see Damian standing in for a lighting test while still wearing his coat. The basement location was very cold.
The character of Pickman was played by my friend and regular actor Bob Barber.
My friend and regular assistant Demien Vela, as well as my lovely bride Jen Cogar (who played the lead in LADY BATHORY) acted as crew. Here you can see Demien running the fog machine and moving the sheet into position using fishing line.
Pickman’s artwork was provided by fellow Horror Photographer Chad Michael Ward. To see more examples of his work (which ranges from Horror to Erotica) check out his website at DigitalApocalypse.com
Thank you to Phil Kim at Famous Monsters for inviting me to shoot this project. See you next time!