Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Chet Zar / James Zar: When Worlds Collide at L'Imagerie Gallery

L'Imagerie Gallery, located in North Hollywood, is currently preparing for an exhibit titled When Worlds Collide. The exhibit is considered an intergenerational exhibit due to the fact that it will feature the art of Chet Zar and his father James Zar.
The press release states, “This is a father and son show that is amazing in it's polarity of imagery. You would be hard pressed to visually discern that both painters are related-except for their astounding facility with a paintbrush and clarity of their respective vision. This is more than a father/son exhibit, it's a visual polemic of antipodean aesthetics, contradictory world-views and a personal glimpse into the genetics of visual creativity.”
Drawing inspiration from his love of horror films, Chet Zar (the son) creates characters that capture feelings of fear and anxiety. There is degree of isolation about his paintings. The viewer senses danger as he or she views the nightmares that stem from Zar's wonderfully creative mind. When I first observed his work I thought about the horrors of what a nuclear attack may result in.
Chet Zar also draws inspiration from his career as a special effects make up artist, designer, and sculptor for the motion picture industry. Chet Zar has designed and created creatures and special effects make up for such films as, "Planet of the Apes", "The Ring", and "Hellboy". His work can also be observed in the critically acclaimed music videos for the art metal band, Tool.
James Zar (the father), also referred to as the 'Still Life Magician', has been an established artist for decades. He has befriended celebrities and star athletes... a far cry from his humble roots in a hard-working fishing community. However, James still embraces his roots with honor and respect. He shares the same integrity for his work that those who influenced him had shown when he was young. This strong work ethic can be observed in his images, artistic practice, and interactions with people who are interested in his work.
James Zar creates paintings that allow the viewer to travel to another world. A place full of vibrant color and lively beings. His work is marked by a bold use of color, mastery of composition, and playful spirituality. They offer the viewer the perfect visual escape from a long day at work.
James Zar has been involved with major movie studios where he worked professionally and became friends with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone. He also befriended Frank Sinatra, Jack Palance, Don Rickles and Hal Holbrook. His paintings have been displayed in their private collections. Mr. Zar has remained humble even though he has had great success with his art.
The L'Imagerie Gallery exhibit-- When Worlds Collide-- opens on May 16th, 2009 and is scheduled to come to a close in June. For more information visit,

Chet Zar on

Links of Interest: interview with Chet Zar (2006) interview with James Zar (2006)

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