The Scary Art of Nicolas Caesar!
Ceasar, a Featured Artist in the
Slaughter Shop, recently sat down with Chainsaw Mafia Staff Writer
Necromagickal to discuss his amazing work....
The art of horror has many faces. Some smile with grins of grotesque
realities where others invoke more ethereal fantastical unrealities.
Either way, the psyche of mankind is forever visually haunted by deep
rooted nightmares that, interestingly enough, we invite and enjoy. The
Chainsaw Mafia will now feature one man whose dark and macabre visions
embody artistically, those same nightmares. We welcome you to the scary
world, and scary art of Nicolas Caesar!
Necro: What are you working on currently?
NC: Right now I'm working on a darker personal series, hammering toxic
demons in flesh and teeth. Sort of taking the psychic vampires or parasite
personalities and sticking pins in them, mounting them to canvas and
creating my own directory of human monsters.
Necro: What was your initial inspiration for getting into horror as art?
NC: Balance. I think people try really hard to think if they float along
they'll be out of reach of terrible things. I make terrible things.For
every happy little tree I put a monster in front of it. I create horror as
a reality check. We dismiss psycho exes, bullies, unhinged personalities,
unmedicated schizophrenic homeless, cannibals, religious fanatics, etc but
the truth is they are still there. Horror is acknowledging them and saying
"I have a shovel".
Necro: What artists would you say inspire you most and why?
NC: I'm inspired mostly by the artists I show with (http://www.scary-art.com/SACmembers.htm),
You really get to go on the journey with them. We challenge and influence
each other. Making a new body of work 2 weeks before the themed show - you
either sink or swim. I love artists like Camille Rose Garcia, Tim Biskup,
Ralph Steadman, and Edward Gorey but they seem so alien. You couldn't tip
pints with them and complain about how awful the art world is. My work, if
anything is inspired by the old EC Comic artists or 60's Halloween ad men.
I love old crusty advertisements. Chalkware carnival toys as well.
Necro: What is your favorite medium for creativity and why?
NC: I think wire. I have a spider totem and weaving things into existence
comes natural for me. I really like the hands on feel to it. It's like
tightening corsets. I have a thing for binding.
Necro: Do you feel you must invoke a specific type of consciousness or
focus to create? Do you have any ritualistic patterns that must be
followed to create?
NC: I never know what I'm doing until I'm done. I remember Michaelangeo
saying something about chipping away everything around what he saw in the
stone. I feel like that. It's like when you see a face in a ceiling stain
and you chip at it to highlight it and bring it out.
I binge paint. I have my down time then something hits the synapse and I
make 20 pieces in a night. I like painting out of my subconscious. It's
like painting with an Ouija Board.
Necro: What is your favorite piece of art you have made?
NC: Moaning Mona. Something about her is perfect. I have never been so
happy with a piece. She's my Mona Lisa. Everytime I look at her I'm amazed
I made her. I still go ga ga over her. Somehow she became everything I
aspired to produce in a piece and still struggle to define it.
Necro: What has been the most difficult piece you have made and why?
NC: It think my portrait of Bodytribe owner Chip Conrad. It was back when
I was re-teaching myself to paint, using TV trays to paint on. Each angle
would totally distort the image. So I'd turn it to fix it, only to distort
it more. I owe a lot to Chip, he really launched me into the Sacramento
Art scene and it kept looking like an unintentional Picasso. I didn't want
to give him a thank you present that looked like a nose goblin. That was
the hardest piece.
Necro: What is the longest and shorted amount of time it has taken you to
make a piece?
NC: "Giving Too Much of myself" was the longest. It started out as a
random piece of wood I'd whipe my brushes on and over the year became one
of my most powerful pieces. The fastest are the pieces I start out with
the intention of a masterpiece - and have a brain fart and then they
become a cute animal or simple creature hahaha!
Necro: Define, if you can, the Scary-Art Collective?
NC: The Scary-Art Collective are a family of artists who join together to
be an alternative to contemporary art. We're quirky, strange, unusual and
diverse. If anything we bind together to bring eccentric and affordable
art to the masses. We sell to our own demographic. If anything we don't
alienate our collectors by unobtainable price tags. I think the high
priced art world neglects a whole lot of people. We're blue collar artists
and at the same time black sheep.
Necro: You have stated that your work is a reflection of an earlier era in
horror. Do you feel that the earlier days of horror, artistically and
sociologically, are superior to its contemporary manifestations and why?
NC: Yes and no. There will always be good and bad horror. As much as
people complain about new horror films - they get nostalgic over Blood
Feast, Night of the Bloody Apes, and Killer Shrews. Nostalgia redeems a
lot of mediums. I grew up watching Bob Wilkin's Creature Features so from
7 on it was a pinnacle influence. Superior? I will always love Blacula and
Evil Dead 2 equally.
Necro: Have you done any work for anyone famous, or have had someone
famous really effect your work?
NC: Chi from the Deftones is a big collector of mine, Skinhead Rob from
the Transplants as well. Screamin' Mad George, I owe him so much. I was a
shy kid at Fangoria's Weekend of Horrors when I met him. Just seeing what
he could do with surrealism. I stopped wanting to be an FX artist and
wanted wholeheartedly to become an artist. His work and range is amazing.
Necro: Do you feel that physical showings of your work have been better or
worse promotionally compared to an internet presence?
NC: Via internet you're able to reach more people which is good. I'm able
to sell my work to someone in Africa or Japan with a click, print the
postage, and have someone pick it up. There's a huge worldwide convenience
to it. There's an excitement in knowing your favorite piece of art is on
it's way to you.
In person - it's more what you see is what you get, you're able to see the
texture more, you have it in a setting with lighting and ambiance that
helps the collector form a relationship to it. Instant gratification.
They're also able to meet the artist and talk more about the work.
For me, to get your name out there, the internet has been the better. Also
there isn't any censorship. People who like the kind of art you do can
find it. A lot of galleries are still pushing safe and uninteresting art -
which works well for anyone shopping for their corporate office but anyone
wanting to turn their bar or bedroom into an inferno has to work harder to
find it. With the net you just google "Scary art" and you've found us.
Necro: How do you feel about being called the "Pee Wee Herman of Horror"?
NC: It makes sense hahaha I have a huge collection of toys from vintage
circus punks to kaiju vinyl. My house and his rival each other in strange
artifacts. I have a leprechaun corpse from Kevin Klemm of Girls and
Corpses magazine. Everyone who visits my home I make them take a picture
Necro: If you could spend the day with Pee-Wee Herman what would you want
NC: Remake Snakes on a Plane.
Necro: If you could create a piece of art for anyone in the world who
would it be and what do you foresee yourself creating for them?
NC: I think Nivek Orge of Skinny Puppy. I always try to give back to the
people who have impacted my life for the better. Their music has been a
staple since I was introduced to it. Years back my friend Kevin was
working for Tim Gore who did the props for Last Rites and I almost got a
two headed dog in the show. I think a painting variation of my latex dog.
Also Huell Howser, that man is amazing! I think he's the only person I'd
ever paint a landscape for.
Necro: If you could dig up the grave of any dead artist and spend 24 hours
with them, who would that be and what would you do with them?
NC: Basquiat. I love his work. I think I'd just talk to him. Know the real
guy. I put 'X's in my work because of him. He brought voodoo into the art
world. You have you dig someone like that.
Necro: Besides art, what else do you do for fun?
NC: I'm a huge cinephile. I collect movies. Tons of them. I track down
obscure films only a handful of people remember, just compulsively. My
favorite finds were Mama Dracula, Dunderklumpen! (translated to Thundering
Fatty), and Angel Above and the Devil Below, a porn with a talking vagina
possessed by Satan). I also have a weekly web comic and go junk store
Necro: What are your top five favorite horror films?
NC: Ow! hard! I'll answer this twice with the top 40 version and some
5.Cannibal Holocaust (I put this on when I want people to go home)
4.The Abominable Dr. Phibes
3.Evil Dead 2
2.Dawn of the Dead (orig)
5.House of the Dead aka Alien Zone (1978) (just for the 1st segment)
4.Wild Beasts aka Belve feroci
3.The Ghost Galleon
2.Sugar Hill (Zombies vs mafia, gotta love it! )
1.Terrorvision (I fucking love this film!)
Necro: What will you be doing for Halloween 2008?
NC: Celebrating my wedding anniversary with the lovely Sarah, I think
we're dressing up as Boris and Natasha this year. Probably some drinking
and shenanigans too.
Necro: Do you do any of the traditional horror conventions or plan to?
NC: I've done Texas Fear Fest and plan to do Fangoria's Weekend of
Horrors, sort of a return to my roots kind of thing.
Necro: Where may we find your work in the upcoming months?
NC: This month I have 4 shows, the 1st at Barefoot Coffee Roasters in
Santa Clara, CA, Cirious Band of Artists @ The Brickhouse Gallery in
Sacramento, CA, Americana @ Sideshow Studios in Sacramento California,
Under the Big Top is finishing at The Main artery Gallery in Benicia, CA
and The Queen of Trash and I are putting together a benefit for Indiana
Flood Relief @ Vox Space, Sacramento, CA.
There also will be a huge Scary-art Collective show at Grind n Groove in
August. Grind n Groove is Sacramento's #1 celebrated adult botique.
Necro: What's in the future for Nicolas Caesar?
NC: One day I'll be able to breathe.
Necro: Anything you would like to say for our readers?
NC: Buy Scary-Art! Keep America Strong!
The Chainsaw Mafia would like to thank Nicolas Caesar for taking the time
to visit our crimson stained chambers. For more information please check
out these crypts: