Born on November 12th, 1967, in the harbor town of San Pedro, CA, Chet Zar’s interest in art began at an early age. His parents were always very supportive and never put any limits on his creativity. His entire childhood was spent drawing, sculpting and painting.
Zar’s interest in the darker side of art began in the earliest stages of his life. A natural fascination with all things strange fostered within himself a deep connection to horror movies and dark imagery. He could relate to the feelings of fear, anxiety and isolation that they conveyed. These are themes which had permeated most of his childhood drawings and paintings and are reflected in his work to this day.
The combined interest in horror films and art eventually culminated into a career as a special effects make up artist, designer and sculptor for the motion picture industry, designing and creating creatures and make up effects for such films as, “The Ring”, “Hellboy I & II”, “Planet of the Apes” and the critically acclaimed music videos for the art metal band Tool. Zar also embraced the digital side of special effects as well, utilizing the computer to translate his dark vision with 3D animation for Tool’s live shows and subsequently releasing many of them on his own DVD of dark 3D animation, “Disturb the Normal”.
The many years spent dealing with all of the politics and artistic compromises of the film industry left Zar feeling creatively stagnant. At the beginning of 2000 (at the suggestion of horror author Clive Barker), he decided to go back to his roots and focus on his own original works and try his hand at fine art, specifically painting in oils. The result has been a renewed sense of purpose, artistic freedom and a clarity of vision that is evident in his darkly surreal (and often darkly humorous) paintings.
His artistic influences include painter James Zar (stepfather and artistic mentor), Beksinski, H.R. Giger, Frank Frazetta, M.C. Escher, Bosch, John Singer Sargent and Norman Rockwell, just to name a few.
“Chet’s art is beautiful & scary. His style has a modern twist crashing into a classical approach. I think Chet is a master painter on his way to making a great mark in our little world. Wanna do something smart with your money? Invest in a Chet Zar painting.” – Adam Jones (TOOL)