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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Drew Falchetta - Featured Artist

Drew Falchetta is one of my favorite artists. The first painting of his I stumbled upon had nothing to do with zombies but fortunately for us he does paint them! Drew is from New Jersey but now lives in the state that gave birth to the modern zombie, Pennsylvania. Drew works with watercolors on 300lb Arches watercolor paper using a Rapidograph pen and ink for the outline.

Drew’s first introduction to zombies was the SNES/SEGA game, Zombies Ate My Neighbors. “In fact, I just did a painting of this game for a group show I was in with the Autumn Society of Philadelphia that was video game themed.” The impact of this first exposure to zombies hit him later, however. “As I got older, I could pick up on the social commentary in the zombie movies.”

So why paint zombies? “It’s fun. Simple as that. To draw the undead is sometimes more fun than the living. Plus I get to draw them getting their heads blown off and it’s acceptable and not crude or disrespectful.” Makes sense to me!

For inspiration, Drew remains open to anything around him. “Usually my ideas come from my imagination. But I tend to look at other paintings for ideas about composition and colors.” Artist inspiration comes from Gris Grimly, Edward Gorey, Shel Silverstein, Dr. Seuss, Alfons Mucha, and Ralph Steadman to name a few. “I try to ‘borrow’ ideas and small details, but never take or copy. I think some artists fail to do that.”

Another one of my favorite painting by Drew is Nuns vs Zombies. So what was the thought process and meaning behind that creation? “Haha. Well, I was asked to be a part of a group show in San Francisco run by Creep Machine. The theme was B horror movies. We were to do a painting of a favorite B horror movie or make one up; So I made my own. I knew I wanted to do zombies, but I wanted to make it really ridiculous.” After researching grindhouse movies and looking for common themes he found one…nuns. “And then I knew… nuns killing zombies. Because the painting was a success, I am going to turn it into a picture book called The Second Coming. Stay tuned for that.”

What’s your favorite zombie films/books and why? “Shaun of the Dead. I know it’s a comedy, but it’s got everything: blood, gore, panic, isolation, death, and mixes it all with humor. It’s really paying homage to the zombie/horror genre. A really great book series about zombies is an American manga called I Love Halloween. The artwork is done by Benjamin Roman. Great work!”

Drew! You’ve been bitten! Do you want me to walk away or shoot you? “Believe it or not, I have often thought of this. I’d love to live as a zombie, but I’m not sure youd be able to experience it. I mean, they are dead. Would you even notice that you were a zombie? However, I would not want to hurt anyone, so I guess just shoot me. But maybe let me walk around first to get a feel for it.”

Drew is currently illustrating a book his brother wrote. The book is a type of picture book for young adults, teens, and adults. He will also be featured as part of a group show in Philadelphia whose theme will be Dia de los Muertos. So, if you’re in the area, keep an eye open and try to attend. You can also look forward to a solo show of all of Drew’s miniature paintings. More info about Drew can be found on his website and MySpace pages.

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