Chet Zar’s site has a subtitle of “Painter of Dark”. In addition to being a good sendup of a certain franchise gallery painter, it’s a pretty concise description of the tone of his work.
In his gallery work, Zar paints monsters, gruesome, grotesque and deliberately disconcerting. His eerie “portraits” glare out at you with glazed, bloodshot, and sometimes absent, eyes; grimacing, grinning or open mouthed in apparent shock, perhaps from looking at the preceding or following monster, each more gruesome than the next.
He creates his monstrous faces with highly defined textures. High-contrast areas of light and dark combine to suggest leathery, wrinkled skin, sometimes dark and weathered, at other times veinous and pale, as if insufficiently protected against some caustic environment. His palette for each piece is controlled within a limited range, but rich with subtle variation.
Zar has also applied his talent for creating monsters, and other characters, to a career in movie special effects, creating sculptural prosthetic make up and effects for films like Planet of the Apes, The Ring, Darkman, Hellboy and X-Men 3.
Wikipedia has a post on Chet Zar, through which I learned that he is the stepson of James Zar, a fascinating fantasy and still life painter who will undoubtedly be the subject of a future post.