#ZombieAttack — Halloween Gallery 2: Vampires, Demons, Aliens and Creepy Characters

 

Some of my favorite spooky faces from the recent Halloween seasons. Halloween is like the national holiday for facepainting and the arts of transformation. Have fun, be bold and get creepy.

Check out the News/Schedule page to see where we’ll be this Halloween season, and come and be transformed.

 

Learn about all that we do at: agostinoarts.com

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#ZombieAttack — Halloween Gallery

 

Transformations_GettingGruesome_2_agostinoarts

 

The season of transformation is upon us and the zombies are coming. Enjoy this month of facepainting mayhem, culminating in the National Holiday for Facepainters, Mask Makers and Makeup Artists, aka Halloween. Check out our event schedule on the News/Schedule page and come and be transformed at Boo at the Zoo and our other Fall Festival and Halloween events.

2012 Transformations — Face Painting Gallery

by Christopher Agostino

Faces, and a few bodypaintings, from 2012. Mostly by me and some by our company members.With the exception of the bodypainting models, all of these are photos of regular people painted at events around New York. The photos are arranged by name, rather than chronologically, so this year it starts with aliens and ends up with zebras and zombies. The names I give designs help me sort and find them, and also help me remember new ideas while I’m working. It’s very rare these days that I ask someone what they want to be before I paint them. Almost always I’m surprising them, which means I need to have lots of my own ideas ready, so I bring a list of names  as a reminder of design concepts. And it’s very helpful to have a name for what you’ve just turned somebody into, especially when you are being inventive. Part of the fun of surprising someone is talking to them about what they are becoming to build the anticipation, giving them the story.

2012_slideshowTitle

Click here for the slideshow:  2012 Transformations Video  music by Jeremy Agostino

The 2012 Transformations Gallery:

click on the photos to see the names of the images

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Japanese Demons and Kabuki Spooky —re-post

by Christopher Agostino
(the heaviest traffic on the site these past few days are people searching for scary stuff like demon imagery, so I am re-posting one from last Halloween season  — and come see me at the Prospect Park Zoo this Sat and Sunday (Oct 27+28) to get your face painted — and I will be telling a new mix of demon tales from my storytelling show: The Eye of the Demon)
I paint a lot of demon faces this time of year, many inspired by Japanese imagery and folktales. In 2008 particularly, I put an effort into exploring new face designs based on Japanese masks and kabuki makeup. That year I was painting at the Transworld Halloween Show  for Kryolan Professional Makeup and took the approach at the event to paint horror faces based on world mask designs, as a contrast to the traditional zombies and skulls, so most of the examples here are from around that time.
     
This mask is a contemporary example of a Namahage Demon from the Akita Prefecture. It is worn for a traditional Lunar New Year celebration which sounds like Halloween in reverse, as young men wear the masks and visit people’s houses to scare their children and admonish them to listen to their parents—or the demons will come back! The parents reward the young men with sake and food. Although frightening, Namahage are said to be gods who bring good fortune, an example of the beliefs connected to spirit worship traditions in which powerful demonic spirits can become protective when they are appeased. Check out the Japanese movies Onmyoji and Onmyoji 2 for a fun depiction of demonic possession and the Ying-Yang master that has to restore the balance.
      In folktales, Japanese demons come with various descriptions. Some may be red or blue faced, with fangs, horns and one, two or three eyes. In the tale of the famous samurai Raiko and his battle with the Goblin Earth Spider, he is attacked by an army that drops out of the storm clouds, including animals that walk like men, beings with three claws and three eyes—one with eyes in its hands—and long serpents with human heads. There’s a few ideas for facepainting. At an exhibit of prints by the artist Kuniyoshi last year at the Japan Society I was very jazzed to see two illustrations of Raiko vs. the Earth Spider with imagery that has re-invigorated the way I tell and depict that tale through faces.
     
The prevalence of such beliefs within the medieval Japanese culture allowed for the growth in Edo province of “Aragato,” the style of Kabuki theater which produced the famous makeup for its samurai hero and for the ghosts and demons he would battle. The origin of Kabuki and other Japanese theater in shamanic ritual and spirit worship is evident in the hero’s ability to do the impossible because they have allowed themselves to be possessed by a powerful kami (“supernatural deity”) and thus have become hitokami (“man-gods”). Continue reading

Face Painting Gallery — Materials for the Arts Halloween Party

Insane Clown Zombie

Lorraine and I painted at one of our favorite annual events last night, the Halloween Party at Materials for the Arts. Their event grows each year, this year BD Wong was the master of ceremonies. We’ve been painting at this event for a while, which means many of the folks we have seen and painted before, like this young man who very much wanted to be scarier than his brother, so I made him into an Insane Clown Zombie. At our annual New York events like this one, folks are familiar with the freedom and creativity we bring to each face and that encourages us to try new ideas, like this combination of a Monet color background with a dancing figure from an Andre Derain painting, as I continue to explore putting dancing figures on people’s faces. And I took the opportunity to do some  “sketches” for faces I’ll be painting for a Dia De Los Muertos performance by Calpulli Mexican Dance Company on Nov 3 and 4 at Pace University’s Schimmel Center.

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