I'm delighted to share with you this wonderfully awesome painting, courtesy of the very talented artist Isabel Samaras.
Bask in the glow of transfiguration:
Alex hepped me to the existence of this piece, which was part of the recent "Kaiju Monster Invasion, Miami Beach" show at Harold Golen Gallery. I got in touch with Isabel in short order, and found her to be a real peach to communicate with. Here's what she had to say about the piece, and her background experience with the spiny one:
"Okay let's see... I used to watch Ultraman a lot when I was a kid, and my very first crush was on Hayata. Then I didn't see my silver and red hero for a long time (except for occasional forays over to Kimono My House in Emeryville), until the DVDs came out and I decided to infect the next generation with my obsession. I bought the first set for my son for Christmas in 2004. That kind of ignited an Ultraman obsession in him, and reignited my own -- we both started drawing kaiju all the time (often battling each other). But it all stayed on the down-low, nothing for public consumption, until Harold Golen got in touch with me about a kaiju-themed show he was planning.
One of the things that always blew me away about Ultraman was that even though the monsters were often "villains" there was still (sometimes anyway) a tenderness or sympathy for them. Like Seabozu! Heck they even had a Buddhist ceremony for all the ones that were killed. I always had a soft spot for poor little Pygmon, who was just trying to be sweet and helpful and got unceremoniously squashed to death by Red King. (Can't keep a good pygmy monster down though, he came back again later.) In a lot of my work I like to make connections between old master paintings and contemporary pop culture, so I thought for the show I'd do a classic assumption scene where a host of heavenly angels lifts the saint-of-the-moment up into the heavens for their just rewards. I think Pygmon earned it. Painting him was my favorite part of the piece -- I love all the weird coral-like shapes of his body and his sad eyes and huge lips. It's amazing how iconic his features are -- you can take so much away and still have a recognizable Pygmon (I have a small round rubber Pygmon ball, it's just a red lumpy molded rubber ball with his face on it but it's so totally him -- you can knock him all over the place and he just comes bouncing happily back)."
Awesome... you have the everlasting gratitude of the worldwide Garamon/Pygmon fan fellowship, Isabel!
One more pic, mit der frame: