Here is a part of the interview with artist Edward Frausto from Horror City #3. Enjoy!
Horror City: So Edward, where comes you fixation with artwork focusing on horror and the occult?
Edward Frausto: Some of my earliest memories are of horror movies. I was enamored with the classics like Halloween, Friday the 13th and a Nightmare on Elm street. I used to force my siblings to watch those movies simply because I knew it frieghtened them. As I got older my appitite for gore and violence grew and I sought out darker things. I became fascinated with serial killers, not so much because of their deeds but for the strange grip they had on society. This was also around the same time I stared to familiarize myself with the black arts. Music also had a very profound impact on how my art would eventually manifest.
HC: Can you pinpoint a moment in your existence, if there is, when you saw a dark or a thing that most people find horrific, and thought, “That is what I find beautiful”?
EF: Yes. I would refer to that as a moment of self-actualization and it happened rather recently for me. I had ingested very old mushrooms, of the psychedelic variety and had what people refer to as a “badtrip.” Although my journey only lasted a few hours I had expierenced lifetimes of true and unparalleled horror. Upon waking or coming to my mind was convinced I had been reborn from death. I felt my death on every level…it shook me to my core. Afterward I looked at reality in very new and strange ways. Horror, much like everything in this life is open to interpretation. The very nature of experience is beautiful, now what that means is even the horror of life has inherent beauty. People look upon a putrid corpse and see their future and are disgusted. I gaze upon the dead and the overwhelming beauty of truth that they exude and am reinvigorated.
HC: Did the “badtrip” you just referred to influence any particular piece of artwork we could see in your online gallery?
EF: Yes. The piece titled: CHASM. Although I started it several months before my excursion into the unknown that particular piece would become quite prophetic and more or less outlined my hallucinogenic trip. I finished it months afterwards and for the longest time was revolted by how truthful it was. That piece is also known as the ABYSS.
HC: You paint many powerful, fierce images of women, and many of them besides demons and monsters. Why? Do you think they’re damsels in distress or evil itself? Both?
EF: Well I’ve always been fascinated by the dichotomous nature of human understanding. We see things in a stark black and white kind of mentality. Good and evil, beauty and the grotesque…I could go on and on about it. But I also paint women in a kind of misogynistic light, often portrayed in a cruel or licentious manner. The demons that accompany them are their own private demons. Their internal monologues, their secret, dark subconscious thoughts manifesting in physical form.
HC: In some of your work as in “Harbinger” and “Through the Rabbit Hole”. You seem there to deal with lots of social issues like drug addiction, homelessness, religion and the effect of the mass-media on society. Do you consider your work as political?
EF: No. I personally don’t vest to much into the idiotic trappings of some “political” system that obviously doesn’t function in a physical reality. However I am a being occupying Earth in the year 2014 and it is my solemn duty as an artist to observe and interpret my reality. My work and all “political” iconography are simply reflections of the age and reality I inhabit.
HC: Do you have a long-standing project of your own (or several) you are working to illustrate? If so, what is it, if I may ask?
Yes and no. Ever since I had my consciousness split wide open my life has become very chaotic to say the least. Out of all that chaos 3 unfinished pieces hang on my wall. At the moment I have neither the time nor space to complete them. But I do have a goal intended for them…a plan of sorts.
HC: Do you read comics? If so, what kind? If not, why not? Does some horror comic or graphic novel inspire you artwork?
I love comics. Watchmen, Wanted, the Maxx and Arkham Asylum are my favorites. I also love the Justice League. Comics completely inspire me. They are the fundamental reason I ever picked up a pencil.
Any horror comic you could recommend to our fellow readers?
Hellraiser is always a good one.
OK, this is it. Thank you for your time, Edward!