Chris/Zombieking is an artist from Liverpool who is perhaps most notable for his blend of horror subjects and colourful, rainbow soaked delivery. As well as painting, Chris is an illustrator, designs t-shirts and makes zombies (he has repetitive strain injury from throwing blood). Aside from his beautiful artwork, you might recognise Chris’ hand from this viral image of his creative tattoo.
Chris paints images of death in an attempt to show how “vibrant, and full of life and purpose it can be”. His work also incorporates themes of the cycle of nature and rebirth. He was first interested in blending bright colours with horror themes after watching his studio buddy paint with bright colours while he worked on very dark pieces. He explains “She was painting a serene meditating figure emanating colour at their chakra points – so I did my own version of her painting which involved a spinal column set against a waveform, infused with the chakra colours on a stark black backdrop” (Pictured below)
He continued to work in this style, finding that people were charmed by his presentation of themes of death against a spectrum of colour. We asked Chris why he was drawn to anatomy, particularly skulls and skeletons in his work. He explained that he was interested in écorché – a method of learning about anatomy by drawing the skeleton or muscular structures under a subject. An obsession with horror movies and FX also moulded his interest.
I guess somewhere along the line I just adopted a fascination with the flayed dismembered bodies moreso than ones which were intact!
The messages in his art come from a cynical and misanthropic viewpoint – witnessing devastation in life and vibrancy in death. However, he feels these terms are a bit too ‘arty’, explaining “I’m really not that kind of artist! As long as a piece works on an aesthetic level, that’s enough. Plus sometimes it is just so much fun to simply draw monsters!” Chris cites Simon Bisley’s initial 2000AD work (ABC Warriors, Slaine) as one of his biggest influences, and the writing of Clive Barker has shaped his work in terms of dark themes and images. He also cites early Peter Jackson as a major influence, due to his ability to have fun with horror.
As is Popcorn Horror tradition, we asked Chris about his zombie survival strategies –
Survive? Nah, I’m on their side. The nickname, Chris Zombieking, usuallygives it away – I’m with the zombies all the way!