This next interview in our ongoing artist series is from Philly. Chris Garofalo (AKA QFS Chris) describes himself as “highly elusive, dangerously creative. diabolical graphic designer of horror/pop culture posters. Ink on Paper. Disgusting, revolting, but genuinely arousing.” From what I have read and seen, he has covered all his bases there.
BLURPPY: How would YOU describe your style or how would YOU like it described. You always get OUR/ BLOGGER point of view, let’s hear from YOU.
QFS Chris: I’d best describe my style as equal parts nostalgia, nonsense, and pop culture run through a Grindhouse cinema wood chipper, chewed up and spit out on paper.
BLURPPY: How did you get started in the “poster” scene? What was your FIRST print?
QFS Chris: I’ve been attending horror film conventions for quite a few years, making only a few posters here and there to have the convention guests sign. It didn’t take long for fellow fans and even a few convention guests/horror film stars to request larger print runs available to the public.
The growing support of the community of horror fans was all the incentive I needed. This new found exposure eventually granted me a “guest poster artist” spot at The Colonial Theatre (famous for being the theater in the original horror classic “The Blob”) The guest spot quickly turned into a regular rotation in their lineup of Horror and Cult Classic film screenings, and I’ve been a consistent poster participant ever since.
My first actual screen print was titled “The Surgeon” inspired by the rather disturbing and highly controversial film “The Human Centipede” Probably not the safest or fan friendliest print to “debut” within the screen printed poster world, but that was also one of the reasons I wanted to do it, to understand that taking risks on certain subject matter is always worth it, when it comes to seeing your creative vision all the way through.
BLURPPY: I tried, but I couldn’t watch it. Way too disturbing. As my Mom is so fond of saying, “Dark“. What are your 3 favorite pieces that you have done that you feel really show off your talent or truly capture a subject you love.
QFS Chris: “Jesus Wept” inspired by Hellraiser, “There’s A Mogwai In My Popcorn” inspired by Gremlins and “Science Is Real…Monsters Are Not” inspired by The Monster Squad.
BLURPPY: What would be your dream project? What would you KILL to work on? This can be a real project or something crazy like “design the next Death Star for Lord Vader.”
QFS Chris: I haven’t really given much thought to the “Ultimate Dream Project” but let’s just say that if I was approached by Deftones and/or The Dillinger Escape Plan to be their regular gig poster designer, I’d probably bug out like Tori Spelling’s eyes.
BLURPPY: Chino is the “expletive” “expletive”! One of the best voices in music. They rock so “expletive” hard your ears bleed, but in a good way, if that is possible. Their cover of Duran Duran’s “The Chauffeur” is like musical crack. Easily, hands down, one of the best live bands out there. When you get that gig I want copies of your posters for each show! I could go on an on about the Deftones but let’s get back to the interview. What is your process like? How do you get started on a project?
QFS Chris: My overall process is fairly consistent, but each different project calls for some sort of unique approach or technique, depending on the subject matter at hand. The consistent process always includes multiple viewings of the film/subject, rough sketches to plot composition, and then finally bringing it all together on the computer. Once that’s all in the tank, I battle my Pantone Swatch book for a grueling few hours picking the right colors for the final screen print output. Every once in awhile, I get the urge to go completely outside the box with an added design element, which in the past has included die-cutting and hand-burning the edges of the paper. I’ve spilled my own blood and suffered from minor smoke inhalation more than a few times…ALWAYS been worth it. The final part of my process is much like the “victory dance” in Independence Day, just with some Jameson and ginger ale, instead of a cigar.
BLURPPY: Whose work do you follow, love, crave? Any specific pieces by these artists that stand out to you?
QFS Chris: I love and hate this question equally because I love being psyched on so many artists/designers, that I hate having to pick favorites out of them. First and foremost, the man responsible for igniting my “art spark” since day one is legendary professional skateboarder/graphic artist John Lucero. As a kid, I bought only Lucero boards simply for the graphics. I still feel as strongly about the art today as I did when I was 12, only now I have the same beloved graphics from my youth tattooed on me for life.
As far as print artists go, I’m constantly stoked on the caliber of work that N.E. over at New Flesh Prints is putting out. Mind blowing quality coupled with a consistently fresh perspective on his subject matter. Charles Moran aka “Zomic“ is tops when it comes to intricate, hand-drawn detail and continues do out-do himself with each new print release. “Ghoulish” Gary Pullin pretty much rules the horror illustration world in my opinion…let’s see. Oh yeah, Midnight Marauder is dominating the Criterion scene and seems to posses an otherworldly work ethic. Jay Shaw always seems to get weird with it in the best way. And last but certainly not least…everyone in the “Print Posse” you know who you are and you know just how much I love and support what you do.
BLURPPY: I have been trying to get my hands on a New Flesh Prints Iron Man for awhile now, can’t find one! (Seriously, I have to find this!) You mentioned Midnight Marauder too. I swear that guy must have an IV of coffee dripping into his arm because that guy turns out a TON of amazing prints. One after the other. How do you see the whole “pop-culture poster craze” evolving? What is your hope for it?
QFS: This pop-culture poster craze will evolve infinitely in my opinion, because no matter what the market will bear, there will always be a constant supply of both artists and fans, fueled by both nostalgia and the desire to stretch those feelings to limits beyond possibility. The real dynamic here is that the artists are almost always fans themselves, so they can relate to what fellow fans want, and at the same time, open their eyes to something completely new. I don’t need to have hope for it, because it’s in the very capable hands of talent, enthusiasm, and passion from both artists and fans.
BLURPPY: What is your “can’t live without possession?”….NO KIDS or PETS!
QFS Chris: Well, since we have to go all “material” here, I’ve compiled a reasonably sized list that I will present in no particular order of importance: iPhone, iMac, Adobe CS, sketchbook, Jameson, Voodoo Wings from the French Quarter Bistro, my collection of Lucero autographed re-issue 80’s skateboards, French Paper, and of course endless amounts of music and movies. Oh…and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups!
BLURPPY: What is your favorite guilty pleasure?…..ham, Honey Boo-Boo, Junior mints, American Pickers, coffee ice cream, long walks on the beach….etc…
QFS Chris: I don’t believe in guilty pleasures, due to the fact that there are quite a few things that I’m “shamelessly psyched” on and probably shouldn’t be. But the bottom line is that I love the following things for reasons even I don’t understand. I just simply DO: Paternity tests on Maury, trucker caps, Fat Kids fighting on youtube, Duran Duran, rainbow sprinkles on my ice cream, synth-pop music, Phoebe Cates, Snakes on a Plane, and ordering an entire Chick-Fil-A party tray of nuggets for only myself.
BLURPPY: F’n Maury. How is 2013 shaping up for you so far? Any projects/ shows/ collaborations you can talk about or tease?
QFS Chris: 2013 is already shaping up to be a heavy hitting year for Quiltface Studios. Aside from this incredible feature I’ve dubbed “Project: Blurppy” I’ll be showing nearly every month at Bottleneck Gallery in Brooklyn. Joe and his crew really reach out to both artists and fans, and I’ve never felt more at home showing work than I do with Bottleneck. Keep this gallery on your radar…you won’t want to miss the themes they have in store. I’ve also been in talks with both Blunt Graffix and Hero Complex galleries, great people showcasing incredible talent; I’d certainly love to be part of their shows as well. I’ll be vending at Monster Mania Con this coming March with great friend/illustrative genius Charles Moran aka “Zomic“ as well as my steady diet of posters for The Colonial Theatre…can’t say which yet…..but I can promise you that the one this month is gonna chew bubblegum AND kick ass.
BLURPPY: Now for what has previously been called “The worst question ever“. What is your favorite movie of all time and why?
QFS Chris: The original 1974 Tobe Hooper classic: “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” because it’s the film that started my torrid love affair with horror movies…..we’ll never break up.
BLURPPY: Pick one from each line as your favorite:
Peanut butter and jelly or Ham and cheese: PB and J and Quik with a twisty straw
Whedon’s AVENGERS or Nolan’s DARK KNIGHT RETURNS: Avengers-Whedon is a prodigy
Summer on the West Coast or Fall in New England: West Coast Summer, Huntington Beach Cali skate scene…boards, brews, burgers, and babes.
Kubrick’s The Shining Movie or King’s The Shining Book: Kubrick…hallways and elevators still make me feel uneasy when I’m alone.
Morning or night: Nocturnal
Pizza or sushi: Spicy Pepperoni Roll
Justin Bieber or Gangnam style: “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” it’s all Sweet Brown up in here.
Cats or dogs: Cujo
Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd: “No Stairway???…..denied!!“
Charlie Brown Christmas or It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown Charlie Brown: True Hollywood Story
I would like to thank Chris for his time and enthusiasm on this project. Let’s summarize what we learned today shall we? Chris likes the “darker” side of things, has a passion for skateboarding and Jameson – (hopefully not at the same time), like Tracie Ching he is not too fond of Charlie Brown, he is a proud, original member of the #PrintPosse and will be working for the Deftones soon. Follow Chris on TWITTER, check out his website, QUILTFACE STUDIOS and buy his art.