Chet Zar – The Administrators
The Administrators is Chet Zar’s debut Australian solo exhibition of new oil paintings.
OPENING NIGHT: Saturday, July 13, from 5–10 pm. Free entry.
This exhibition will be on view from July 14 to August 4, concurrently with Dark Art 2019.
This show depicts a new class of beings in Dy5topia, the alternate dystopian reality that serves as the setting for Zar’s work: the faceless bureaucrats who help run things behind the scenes. Zar imagines a shadowy underground maze of rusty pipes and old electronic control panels, as in a kind of demented boiler room, from where they do their bidding for those in charge.
Zar notes that it’s easy to fall into the trap of always trying to come up with something new for its own sake. While Zar tries to create unique and new characters when he paints, he believes that sometimes the most obvious things to paint are just as worthwhile. For this show, he wanted to get back to his roots and explore them again with all of the techniques he has learned over the years. He wanted to go back to the aesthetic that inspired him when he first started painting: the dirt, the grime, the rust and the ugliness of a postmodern world in decay. He took inspiration from some of his earliest influences—horror comics, Giger, the Quay Brothers and David Lynch—as well as his early work on videos for the band Tool.
Chet Zar was born November 12, 1967, in San Pedro, CA. His interest in art began at an early age. His parents were very supportive and never put limits on his creativity: his entire childhood was spent drawing, sculpting and painting.
A natural fascination with all things strange fostered within Zar a deep connection to horror movies and dark imagery. He could relate to the feelings of fear, anxiety and isolation that they conveyed. These themes permeated most of his childhood drawings and paintings and are reflected in his work today.
Zar’s interest in horror films and art led to a career as a special effects artist for the motion picture industry, designing and creating creatures and makeup effects for such films as The Ring, the Hellboy movies and Planet of the Apes as well as critically acclaimed music videos for Tool.
Eventually, the politics and artistic compromises of the industry left Zar feeling creatively stagnant. At the beginning of 2000, he decided to focus on his own original works and try his hand at fine art, specifically painting in oils. The result has been a renewed sense of purpose, artistic freedom and a clarity of vision that is evident in his darkly surreal (and often darkly humorous) paintings.
His artistic influences include painter James Zar (stepfather and artistic mentor), Beksinski, H.R. Giger, Frank Frazetta, M.C. Escher, Bosch, John Singer Sargent and Norman Rockwell.
Complimentary wine will be available at the opening. For those wanting a non-alcoholic option, we will also have drinks provided by Remedy Kombucha.
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