ARTIST IN BALTIMORE THRIVES ON HORROR INSPIRATION

One look at this image made me feel uneasy and restless, mission accomplished!

With three museums and one of the best art colleges (M.I.C.A) in the country, Baltimore Maryland is known for its support and appreciation for art.

Nick Janouris, a local artist that specializes in horror and dark imagery shared some of his techniques and inspirations, along with his thoughts on the macabre side of Baltimore with me this past week.

Regarding art in Baltimore, I think there’s actually a fabulous support of all things horror and macabre. The lights on 34th may be big around Christmas, but the amount of shows going on around Halloween are tremendous. Don’t forget, most artists in Baltimore are aware of Edgar Allen Poe, and that alone is fuel for all the dark, grungy artwork going around. In my personal opinion, Baltimore takes a bigger departure from traditional art.”

Not to mention Fells Point looks like the zombie apocalypse after the kids are done trick or treating on Halloween. The building and construction in Baltimore is something to be admired as well. Many films, televisions shows, HBO series, and specials have been shot here.

Like many who are exposed to Nick’s artwork, I became an instant fan. Learning more about each piece made me appreciate it even more.

The Creature in the Cave:

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According to Nick, this piece started from a 30-minute speed painting challenge in which two themes were “deep dark cave monster” and “long neck creature.” Along with a few hours of Photoshop CS6, this ghastly image took shape.

I wanted the simplest solution to striking fear in the viewer. There was simply no better way to do that than by placing him or her in front of a screaming skull monster.”

One look at this image made me feel uneasy and restless. Mission accomplished!

The Scream:

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Wanting to take on the theme that Edvard Munch did in his work, “The Scream,” Nick focused on one character and threw horror into the mix.

While limiting the palette to red, yellow, black, and white, Nick then photographed the piece and began working up a digital painting so the image could take a stronger form. Over 20 hours went into this project as the biggest challenge became its completion.

“At certain points, I didn’t want to finish it. Just looking at it was unpleasant enough for my psyche, but I suppose that’s part of the process in any piece of art. And I used no reference. Just my imagination. What happened was a personal piece that captured my inner sense of panic, so at the very least, I’m glad to have explored it.”

With red being my favorite color and Munch my favorite artist, I could felt the inspiration jump out of this painting like a tiger ambushing his prey.

Interlude:

interlude_by_nickj_art-d81sund

In one of Nick’s newer pieces, you once again see emphasis on a single portrait, surreal background, lots of texture, and overlapping forms and colors.

“The biggest difference between the process for Interlude and for The Scream is that I had a better sense of brush economy this time around, and I was more conscious of layering. For the hands, I only painted in the highlights if the values beneath were dark enough to read as shadow, or vice-versa.”

“The horror in this piece may be a little more subtle, but I believe it exists in the ethereal quality of the portrait. I didn’t want the faces or the hands to be clear to the viewer unless they looked for it. Kind of like a Rorschach test, I wanted the viewer to interpret the forms however they might appear. Some people find skulls, some people find galaxies. Everyone seems to pick out the red eye, though. It’s all in the psychology of it.”

The subtlety in this piece is really gives it powerful structure.

Nick Janouris is a talented artist that drills his passion into his work. He has a great work ethic, positive attitude, and dedication. Nick is an asset to the Baltimore horror and artist community.

You can see more of Nick’s art at NickJanouris.com and follow him on Twitter @nickj_art

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  • Anne B
    15 December 2014 at 10:44 pm - Reply

    well, I know what I’ll be seeing in my nightmares tonight!

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