Painter Jason Edmiston has always admired villains. It made it easy for him to immerse himself in the creation of "A Rogues Gallery," a new series for the Austin-based Mondo Gallery.
"I’ve always been drawn toward the villains from movies," he says. "These characters act without guilt or remorse. They do as they wish at the expense of everything else—and they have more charisma than the heroes of the film. They have more interesting costumes, better hangouts, and usually more power than the good guys. This makes them very attractive as subject matter for my work."
Edmiston was asked by Mondo—which built its name for much of the past decade commissioning rising and establishing illustrators to create limited-edition movie posters for both new and classic titles—to create a series of paintings and prints based on the bad guys for his first solo art exhibit. In turn, Edmiston drew from a collection of 20 monsters both classic—the Creature from the Black Lagoon, Medusa, the Wolf Man—and more contemporary—the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, General Zod, the aliens from They Live. It’s a mix that works for the artist.
"I decided to draw references from the entire history of cinema—classic gothic, splatter kings, comedy-horror, science fiction, and psychological suspense are all represented," Edmiston explains. "I have women, men, mascots, robots, aliens, monsters—you name it."
The result is a series of high-contrast, color-saturated images, in both acrylic paintings and screen prints that highlight the drama and menace of the villains in question (well, except the Wolf Man, who looks kinda cuddly). The series will be on display at Mondo Gallery in Austin from August 23 to September 14. Check out an exclusive preview of the Creature, Medusa, and Stay-Puft in the slide show, as well as more of Edmiston’s Mondo monsters.