Tuesday, August 24, 2010
The Face of Horror! Artist Proof Studio: S.L.E. Syndrome bust
The S.L. E. Syndrome in sculptor Norman Myers' own words:
" A strange virus takes over its host mutating them into a twisted deformed being. During the mutation process, the virus allows the host's face to appear and look at its new body, the virus being proud of its work. When the host/victim inevitably freaks out, the head is re-absorbed and the virus gets to work creating an even more horrifying mutation. It's an endless cycle. "
...an endless cycle of mutation after horrific mutation. But not horrific to the vainglorious S.L.E virus, oh no! It tirelessly tasks itself at creating a new image which will please it's host, all in vain. Wipe the slate clean, try again...and again!
Norman created this imaginative and twisted 1/3 scale piece as the first in a series of virus inspired busts. It's 8" tall and cast in one solid piece of gray resin. Not enough you say? Well Norman didn't think so either, so as a cool gift to collectors the first 15 castings of S.L.E. Syndrome included a one of a kind super sculpey head sculpted by Norman! Yes, a one of a kind super sculpey head!
When I first received the S.L.E. bust, the piece conjured thoughts of Rob Bottin's work for John Carpenter's 1982 remake of The Thing. The piece is very reminiscent of kind of bladder pumping, slime slathered, writhing creature effects that were popular in horror films of the 1980's, and I truly adore that about this piece.
As I worked on the bust I couldn't help but imagine the all out creeping fear the host would experience as the virus slogged away at breaking bone and brawn in an arrogant attempt to please. The hosts pale face emerging from it's own anatomically confused flesh to see for the first time, their own body wreathed and wrenched beyond mend! The multiple faces: one in a catatonic state, the other fully ingested by the alien DNA; ripe with S.L.E! Strange appendages developing as they pull free of the body mass. The thought of a 'flesh totem pole' crossed my mind quite a few times.
I began the bust not really knowing where I'd take it, but I did have a pretty good idea that I wanted to complete it with a look not unlike the creatures Bottin crafted in The Thing. Not to compare the two, but the big difference between John Carpenter's creature and Norm's S.L.E. is that the film creature relied on it's host to use as camouflage to hide it's underlying monstrous form, whereas the S.L.E. boasts it's many dreadful, ( a matter of opinion) forms for all to recoil from! Just saying...
I pretty much dragged this project out all summer long. My busy schedule didn't allow me the time to suspend myself in paint mode. But with work slowing down a bit, I finally managed to pull it all together. And I must say that I'm pleased with the way it turned out.
I'm fairly certain that Dr. Meyers at Artist Proof Studio would be more than happy to contaminate your collection with the S.L.E. Syndrome... For more information visit the Artist Proof Studio blog, or contact the good doctor at: firstname.lastname@example.org