If you are ever searching for a great place to be inspired or need that kick in the ass to push yourself, I highly recommend taking a trip into the Chicago suburbs and checking out the Maleficium: Dark Art Exhibition. The gallery is curated by J. Anthony Kosar, the season 4 winner of the Special FX Make-Up competition show FaceOff on SyFy. While the gallery space is not huge, it utilizes every wall it has to display a unique range of media that is usually unseen together. There is everything from elaborate sculptures, to intricately detailed paintings done in oil and watercolor.
Throughout the gallery you will find several resin sculptures from past FaceOff contestants like Wayne Anderson, Dina Cimarusti, Kris Kobzina, J. Anthony Kosar, Jamie Leodones, and Tate Steinsiek. Typically we only get to see the work of their make-up sculpts on the show but to see them in real life, we get the view that the judges and contestants get. My particular favorite was that of an ancient looking vampire sculpt done by Wayne Anderson. The airbrushing and attention to detail in every nook and cranny of the sculpt still resonates with me.
There are several award winning artists featured, including one of my personal favorites, John Jude Palencar. You may recognize his stylized works as he created the covers for the New York Times bestselling Inheritance Series by Christopher Paolini. As an artist, seeing work in person from those you admire is like channeling the inner giddy excitement of a teenage girl at a One Direction concert.
With work from well over 60 artists, there is sure to be something dark there to tease your creative taste buds. The Fifth Annual Maleficium Dark Art Exhibition runs now until December 18, 2015 and is open by appointment only. For all artists in the Chicagoland area and even those willing to travel, it is one of the most inspiring galleries I have been to. Don’t miss out on the chance to visit.
Sketch Forward my friends!
Kosart Studios & Gallery
760 Burr Oak Drive
Westmont, IL 60559.
Call 630.310.8353 for an appointment.