Making JACK THE RIPPER

Hey kiddies!  This is the first part of my new photo project JACK THE RIPPER.

Conceived as a 2-panel diptych, JACK THE RIPPER depicts the moments “just before” and “just after” a grisly alleyway murder.  What makes Jack the Ripper so compelling to me is that nothing is known about him.  Because he was never caught, we have no actual 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 and powerful preying on the poor.

Unable to find an appropriate 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 Haunted House called 3rd Street Asylum in Bonner Springs, a small town just outside of Kansas City.  They allowed me to build my set inside their Haunted House.

The part of Jack the Ripper was played by Chad Hawks.  He grew out his own muttonchops for the role, and flew himself 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 drafted her to make the elaborate costumes needed. She was already doing the costume work when I asked her if she would be willing to play the part of the victim as well.  Despite her shyness, Celine agreed.  She gave a marvelous performance.

Celine’s wig was styled by Ruby Von Blush.  Her make-up, for good or ill, was done by me.

My assistant Demian Vela helped with this photo-shoot, as did my wife Jen Hoffine.  Jen helped Celine sew wire into Jack’s coat so that it would hold it’s position.

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.

Coming soon is JACK THE RIPPER 2, by far the goriest image I have ever made.  I hope you can check it out!

See you next time!

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8 Responses to “Making JACK THE RIPPER”

  1. Joseph Pinto Says:

    Utterly amazing – your talent, the “behind the scenes” of the shoot & of course, end result. Thank you for sharing, Joshua! 🙂

  2. Lindsey McNeill Says:

    I love the details of the set and costume design. I just find the behind the scenes so fascinating – more please!

  3. Patti Says:

    Well it is truly amazing as usual..can’t comment in FB because you are maxed out friend wise….but I’m a follower from way back. LOVE your work….looking forward to part 2!!!!

  4. corkystclaire Says:

    The whole Jack the Ripper story is just so interesting…so mysterious…but I think the creepiest element is the fact he/she fried and ate one of his victims’ kidney. o.o

    Anyway, excellent set design and it looks like a fun project. I make a lot of movies/short films myself, and I can appreciate the work you put into this.

  5. Judy Says:

    You are such an AMAZING ARTIST…….Love Your Pictures…..and behind the scenes stories……Great People too…

  6. Mrs. Horror Boom (HorrorBoom.com) Says:

    Reblogged this on HORROR BOOM and commented:
    I’ve been following Joshua Hoffine since Fangoria did a feature on his art that blew me away. I’ve been keeping tabs on his work through his website on a regular basis ever since. His new projects never cease to amaze and frighten me; JACK THE RIPPER is no exception.

  7. Lobotomy Jack Says:

    awesome!

  8. H. P. Lovecraft’s Deep Ones to be captured by Horror Photographer Joshua Hoffine | Thoughts and Jots: Picking up the pieces Says:

    […] Jack the Ripper: https://joshuahoffine.wordpress.com/2012/09/04/making-jack-the-ripper/ […]

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