Mitch Horowitz is a historian of alternative spirituality and one of today’s most literate voices of esoterica, mysticism, and the occult.
Mitch is a writer-in-residence at the New York Public Library, lecturer-in-residence at the Philosophical Research Society in Los Angeles, and the PEN Award-winning author of books including Occult America; One Simple Idea: How Positive Thinking Reshaped Modern Life; and The Miracle Club.
Skygolpe interviewed by Jesse Draxler
The essential figures that emerge from Skygolpe’s research have an openly disruptive immediacy and impact. His work represents the artist’s tension towards the definition of a clear idea and a path outlined towards direct introspection. Skygolpe explores the NFT medium in a unique and original way. His single digital editions are sought after by major collectors and demonstrate how works created with a strong meaning and a defined concept can have a lasting place in the new world of digital collecting.
After a high profile career designing, drawing and painting images for movie poster art in Hollywood — Return of the Jedi, Labyrinth, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom — Chris now feels driven to produce works which celebrate compelling stories of American perseverance — the Tuskegee Airmen, First Nations peoples of America’s Pacific Northwest, and the Japanese Americans who were incarcerated during WWII.
It’s been an unusual career path, to say the least. Chris was a star on the Southern Oregon College wrestling team when he dropped out in 1974 rather than bow to the inevitable pressure to become a high school wrestling coach. He loaded up his ’68 sky blue Camaro and hit the road, picking up jobs from southern California to Montana and living out of his car. After he ran out of gas in Boise, Idaho, he settled there for a year and a half and worked as a bouncer at the Bronco Hut (the college bar where he met his wife), a lift operator at a ski resort, and as an utterly unqualified counselor at a home shelter for troubled boys. All the time he created art — drawing behind the bar, sculpting unflattering portraits of ski resort personnel, and carving the bar’s Billy club into a more appealing shape.
Chris’ older brother convinced him he’d soon be too old for this bohemian, aimless lifestyle and that he might want to apply to the prestigious Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. He put together a crude portfolio, submitted an application and remembers “it surprised the crap out of me when I was actually accepted”.
In the middle of the college program, Chris still hadn’t figured out a painting system that he liked, so one weekend he locked himself in a room and refused to come out until he’d conquered it. In 1979, he graduated from Art Center with honors.
A diploma from art school, so what next? Pouring and finishing concrete for foundations, walkways, driveways and most everything else that required concrete until he heard that legendary illustrators Charles White III and David Willardson were starting a studio and looking for young talent. Chris’ persistence paid off and he was hired. After months of
sketching he was finally assigned to paint the marquee art for The Mountain Men. Soon afterwards he discovered the airbrush and the whole process became fun, especially incorporating brushwork with airbrush techniques. He painted the clouds, skies, and water all from his Pacific Northwest childhood memories, and was known as The Sky King, a tribute to his unmatched ability to paint natural backgrounds
After four years, Chris left Willardson and White ready for his next challenge — painting people. Yes, he learned to do that, too painting and drawing the comprehensive and finished poster and magazine promotional art for Return of the Jedi, Peggy Sue Got Married, Labyrinth, The Abyss, and who could forget the portrait of the studly Harrison Ford on the Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom theatrical advance poster art?
In 1988 he picked up his family and relocated to the state of Washington where he’s once again tackled a new, but classic, technique. Now he’s brush-painting stories of American perseverance.
Colborn Bell is currently the co-founder and curator of the Museum of Crypto Art (M○C△), an immersive digital art center in virtual reality. Unconstrained by the limitations of physical reality, the aim of this project is to create bridges to Metaverse spaces and usher in a creative renaissance that empowers digital artists and reawakens the imaginations of its participants. He is a long-time blockchain and venture investor.
Guest Interviewer: Jesse Draxler
Hayden Silas Anhedönia, a Florida native better known as Southern Gothic musician, Ethel Cain, creates her art with the same simple intention behind a Sunday morning sermon; to not only be heard, but also felt. Combining her Southern Baptist upbringing with her love of folk, country, and rock music, as well as all things horror and drama, she aims to create nothing other than a visceral experience that lingers long after consumption.
After studying filmmaking with Leslie Thornton at Brown University, and French New Wave director Eric Rohmer at The University of Paris-Michelet, Sam Levy began his professional career as an apprentice to cinematographer Harris Savides.
Sam first gained recognition as a cinematographer in his own right when he photographed Wendy and Lucy for director Kelly Reichardt - voted one of the “Best 25 Films of the 21st Century” by The New York Times.
Sam went on to shoot three films for director Noah Baumbach: Frances Ha, Mistress America, and While We’re Young.
Sam’s recent films include Lady Bird - nominated for 5 Academy Awards including Best Picture - as well as two projects for director Spike Jonze: Changers and Untitled Frank Ocean Project.
Sam has photographed commercials and music videos for such directors as Spike Jonze, Mark Romanek, Fredrik Bond, Stacy Wall, Randy Krallman, Lisa Rubisch, and Brigitte Lacombe among others.
John Wentz is a contemporary painter born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. His interest in art began at the age of 6 when he first discovered Batman and Spiderman comic books. After years of copying comics panel by panel, he worked in the commercial arts as a muralist, billboard creator, and freelance illustrator. After learning to paint by doing airbrushed billboards, he decided to pursue fine art and work in oils. Since then, he has had 3 solo exhibitions in San Francisco and numerous group exhibitions both nationally and internationally. His works have appeared in many publications and have won multiple awards.