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The painter of horror films

By Mateo Uribe Saenz 

Michael Tivey is an american artist that discovered his passion, tecnique and art on portraying the most famous horror films that had scare you in decades. From Frankestein to Nosferatu, Tivey has compiled many of the greatest scenes from horror films and painted his favorite’s horror film directors. Here is the interview:

Revista Escaleta: When did you start painting?
Michael Tivey: I only started painting within the last several years. However, I have been drawing for as long as I can remember. Ever since I was a kid, I was drawing.

R.E: Does the painting business pay the bills, or it’s just a hobby?
M.T: Originally, I started posting pictures on my personal Instagram account just as a hobby. After some time I received several requests for prints of my work. Then I started an account for my art on Instagram, opened up an online shop, and now I’m slowly accumulating enough business where I’m able to pay the bills.

R.E: How Many paintings can you do on a day?
M.T: Each 11x17 painting takes about 90 minutes to complete. I don’t like to do more than two in a day just because I like to get out of the house when it’s possible.

R.E: Tell me about the technique of art that you are using?
M.T: I like to keep the process really simple. I do a very rough sketch with pencil then outline it and colored the background with black India ink. When it’s time to do shading I dilute the India ink with water.

R.E: Why horror movies?
M.T: When I was a child my mother and grandmother would show me horror movies like Frankenstein, Dracula, The Wolfman, The Phantom of the Opera, and all those other Universal horror movies. When I was older (about 13 years old) a friend of mine started showing me movies like The Exorcist, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday the 13th, and much more. They terrified me, and I loved it. Now, as an artist, I like to share with people the things that scared me as a child, a teenager, and now adult.

R.E: When did you start watching horror films and, do you remember your first one?
M.T: My first horror movie was Frankenstein. I was about 4 years old. I was obsessed with Boris Karloff as Frankenstein’s monster and even dressed up as him for Halloween. The movie that really scared me as a child though was Lon Chaney’s Phantom of the Opera. Something about a silent movie along with the special effects makeup that Chaney created really scared me.

R.E: Which painting take so long?
M.T: My first painting of Javier Botet as MAMA took the longest. That was about 2 or 3 days.

R.E: You are a person who loves old horror films like Nosferatu and also recent films. Which old and recent movie do you like the most?
M.T: Nosferatu is by far my favorite silent movie. German films of that era all shared this incredible look and feel that American movies hadn’t perfected. My favorite newer horror movie would either be It Follows or The Witch. They’re both beautifully shot and extremely subtle in how they scare the audience. A good jump scare is only temporary. But something that builds over time, something that is hidden in the background, that's what scares me most.

R.E: You also paint directors. Between Corman, Hitchcock and Dante which one is your favorite?
M.T: At first, I didn’t intent on doing any directors but someone mentioned doing Hitchcock and it made a lot of sense to me. He’s a very interesting character. He almost doesn’t seem real. He had a very imposing look to him. After the positive response I got from my followers on Instagram I decided to try Joe Dante and Roger Corman, both of whom I’ve had the pleasure of meeting several times in Los Angeles. To answer your question, though, I can’t pick one as my favorite. They have all such unique styles to filmmaking. It would just be too hard.

R.E: When you paint how do you decide the scene you want to portrait?
M.T: Picking what I want to paint can be as simple as looking at my DVD/Blu-Ray collection and picking one. Other times I take recommendations from people on social media. Sometimes, though, if I know a movie's anniversary is coming up, I will try to do a piece based on it.

R.E: There are many kind of horror films between serial killers, monsters and spirits, which horror villains are your favorites?
M.T: That’s tough. I love so many different horror movie villains. But if I had to pick, I like a good serial killer. I really enjoy a good ghost story, ones with monsters, and more. But a serial killer is something that you can relate to more than a vampire or zombie.

Una foto publicada por T I V E Y (@tivey_art) el

R.E: If someone ask you for a recommendation on a horror film, what would it be your answer.
M.T: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. No question about it. It’s my favorite movie of all time.

R.E: Where do people can find your art?

M.T: Most people seem to find my work on my Instagram page (@tivey_art). But you can also check out my portfolio at www.tiveyart.weebly.com.
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Por: Revista Escaleta

Somos un grupo estudiantil de la Organización de Grupos Estudiantiles de la Universidad Autónoma de Occidente con la misión de fomentar la cultura cinematográfica por medio de una revista digital llamada "Escaleta".

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