Look at the faces on some of these characters. Demon of the Harvest. Crookneck. Jack the Ripper. Even little Alice, concealing silverware as she awaits Humpty Dumpty’s fall. The characters look so happy, and they’re all obviously so nasty.
Welcome to the worlds of Robert Blair, a sculptor who knows our childhood fantasies are only a breath away from our childhood nightmares.
A craftsman shapes wood into a boy, and that creation magically comes to life. Would this child be the sweet but musically mischievous rascal Walt Disney envisioned, or would he be Robert Blair’s creaky, splintery, grasping monster? I liked the cartoon version when I was younger, but now I get a bigger kick out of the chiller Robert calls Gepetto’s Nightmare.
Robert’s work is so familiar, yet so different. His Garden Gnome has the beard, tall hat and outfit you expect, but this little guy is dangerous. His Nosferatu shares the bald pate, long nails and robe of all Max Schrek figures, but it creaks with extra age, malice, and long, weird arms. You wish his Cheshire Cat would turn invisible so you wouldn’t have to look at that nasty, wrinkled thing.
Robert Blair, 53, lives in Aylmer, Quebec, a small town just outside Ottawa. He worked as a hairstylist for 32 years, but retired from that. In addition to sculpting, he molds and casts, and produces his works, available to fans through his website, blairsculpture.ca. He has also painted most of his own pieces.
To date, Robert has primarily sculpted horror and comic kits. “I can proudly say most of my works are original concepts or my own takes on comic book characters,” he says.
His wife created and maintains his website.
Resin the Barbarian: Are you as fascinated with the macabre and the humorous as your work suggests? If so, could you say how this came about?
Robert: Well, I suppose you could say I have a certain fondness for the dark side. I’ve always found it a lot more interesting. I particularly enjoy sculpting pieces like Gepetto’s Nightmare or the Alice figures because I suppose I get a certain sick pleasure in taking children’s fairy tale characters and twisting them into murderous psychopaths.
RtB: Many of your creations strike me as thoroughly evil yet very happy characters. Demon of the Harvest and Crookneck are good examples, as are the Demons of Dance I wrote about in 2006. I get the idea that these are folks who enjoy a good joke. Is this something you do intentionally?
Robert: Yes. I feel there is nothing creepier than a creature with a sinister smile. You just know there is evil lurking behind that smile.… Read the rest