Monday, October 12, 2009

Kuato Lives, and so can you!

This past week my dear friend/enemy, Alex Pardee, had a pretty awesome solo show at Gallery1988 in LA entitled: Hiding from the Normals. The show had a super rad Halloween-murder-mystery theme, where Alex encouraged everyone to dress up.

Our costume ideas came together over a few 1/3 lb burgers at our local Fuddrucker meat house.

Alex: What should I be?
Me: Be the plant dude from Creepshow.
Alex: Jordy Verrill?!? Fuck yea!
Me: Well, what the hell should I be?
Alex: How bout Oprah, cause you're lame as fuck.
Me: What?
Alex: Nevermind, how about Kuato?
Me: NICE! That's a rad idea, I just watched that last...wait...are you eating my burger too?
Alex: Huh? Oh...yea...well, Kuato doesn't eat.

Making a costume is always more fun than buying one. Here's how I made Mr. Kuato:

Upon acquiring a little plastic baby from Target, I immediately preform non-licensed surgery on the Gerber logo look-alike. After the dissection, I had to take a few photos, because, lets face it, a dismembered plastic baby doll is creepy no matter how you slice it (pun!).

My sculptor buddies introduced me to an amazing product called "Magic Sculpt", and yes, this product earns the first part of its name, as it obviously must have been made by wizards. It comes as a two-part Resin and Hardener, when you mix equal parts it dries hard as a rock overnight. Sorcery!

So, after a few sessions of just stacking on mass to the baby face, I eventually start carving detail around the eyes, lips, nose and ears. I also threw a couple of layers on the arms and hands to give them more of a deformed look. After working with the Magic Sculpt for a while, I notice it's much easier to manipulate about 30 minutes in to the setting process, and some water helps to smooth it out.

Using some more Magic Sculpt, I attach the head and arms to a lumpy pile of dried spray foam, which we will now call "the torso". Whether you're painting a nice piece of furniture or a leader of the mutant rebellion from Mars - a coat of primer is always a good idea before painting anything. I also attached some "U" bolts behind Kuato's shoulders. I know I have to strap him to my chest somehow, at this point I'm not really sure what I'm doing, but I figure these bolts will serve a purpose later.

I started off by spraying a even coat of deep red. This will get into all the nooks and crevices of the figure, which will also eventually be the darkest parts of the form.

From here, I lock myself in our hotel room and layer up middle tones and eventually the highlights. Using mostly Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Sienna, Raw Umber, and White - I try and mix the tones so nothing appears too flat.

Kuato is a mutant. A shiny, sweaty, slimy mutant. And because acrylics dry matte, I need to glisten him up! A simple coat of spray shellac does the trick.

I run some straps through the embedded "U" bolts and wear him like a backwards backpack.

Now I'm ready to get ridiculous at Alex's show!

Me, Alex (Jordy Verrell from Creepshow) and Paul (Carl from Aqua Teen) after the show.

About to murder some of Bob's Biggest Boy's.


  1. That's pretty gross! You could turn it into some sort of kuato backpack maybe

  2. i think it amazinggg!! im doing makeup artistry yr 2 and im thinking doing a remake of kuato on a model! just going about how to do it! how long and how exspensive its going to be!! x

  3. awesome bro. Im watching total recall as i type and was wondering how they made him, as i googled i stumbled on your page.

  4. This is excellent stuff. I really doubt that one could buy a Kuato to strap to your stomach from anywhere