Archive for September, 2012

Making JACK THE RIPPER

September 4, 2012

This is my new photo project titled JACK THE RIPPER.

It is a 2-panel diptych.

Put together, JACK THE RIPPER 1 & 2 depict the moments “just before” and “just after” a grisly alleyway murder.

What makes Jack the Ripper so compelling is that nothing is factually known about him.  Because he was never caught, we have no information about who he was or why he committed his gruesome crimes.  We do not possess a historical or biographical portrait, but instead share a communally imagined idea of Jack the Ripper as an aristocratic predator.  As a boogeyman, he graphically symbolizes the idea of the wealthy preying on the poor.

For the brick alleyway, I decided to build a set.  The walls were made from large sheets of styrofoam that I carved and sculpted to look like brick using a hot-knife and heat gun.

My cousins Steve Hoffine and Jerry Hoffine run a commercial haunted house called 3rd Street Asylum.  They allowed me to build my set inside their creepy building.

The part of Jack the Ripper was played by Chad Hawks.  He grew out his own muttonchops for the role, and flew in from Chicago to help me with my project.

The part of Jack’s victim was played by Celine Collins.  She is the owner of Monkey Wrench Clothing. I had previously drafted her to make the elaborate costumes needed for this photograph. She was already busy doing the costume work when I asked her if she would be willing to play the part of the victim as well.  She gave a marvelous performance.

My assistant Demian Vela helped with this photo-shoot, as did my wife Jen Hoffine.

Steve and Jerry Hoffine, as well as Mike Clouse, came down to help run fog machines during the shoot.

The rats were plastic toys that I painted.  I added whiskers made out of fishing line.

We added a fake torso and silicone intestines for the gory scene in Part 2, and a lot of fake blood.  In fact, everybody had such wet sticky hands from the fake blood that nobody on set took pictures.  Which is too bad!  It was a gruesome sight!

See you next time!

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