Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Last call for a Year in Belkis

They say all good things must come to an end. Now while I don’t believe that for a minute. this month does mark the final month for the NovaStar Studios, Fantasy Art Calendar (featuring Belkis). I don’t know if James Rodriguez (who put the whole thing together) still has any calendars left over, but if he does you can certainly ask. Or you can just see if you can get your hands on his up-coming sci-fi comicbook, The Chronicles of Sara.

Still, we’re here to talk about my favorite pin-up girl, Belkis, and well, Chris Torres who painted this image. I have to confess, that this is one of my favorite images, because, well, Chris is one of my favorite artists, he is in the process of helping me relaunch my signature series, Agent Unknown (a comic I began over 20 years ago for Renegade Press).

Chris was born in Davao City, Mindanao in the Philippines. At a very young age he developed a knack for detail and realized that he could lose himself by making things with his own hands. It was also at this time that he felt the pull of imagery through paperback covers, album covers, cartoons and comicbooks. With no proper tutelage he exercised his budding talent by imitation, exploration and jumping on every project whether it was crafts or art at the Roman Catholic school he attended. Chris’ mother thought it best for him to move to the United States, and on November 16, 1986 he started the next phase of his life in New York, NY. Traveling alone, he debarked at JFK International Airport, had a bacon and egg breakfast and his first glimpse of light snow falling in the states.

In 1994 he was accepted to The School of Visual Arts (SVA) in NYC. As an Illustration major, he developed a mentality that leans more towards the Fine Arts. His growth as an artist at SVA was forged with the help of several amazing instructors with totally opposing techniques, ideas, and theories. While attending college Torres worked under New York Art Directors Club Hall of Fame Laureate, Tony Palladino for an illustrated book pitch and later was graced enough to spend time with the PoP Artist Robert Stanley as a studio assistant. Chris graduated from SVA in 1998 with a Fine Arts Degree specializing in illustration.

While practicing as a freelance Illustrator, Chris’ comicbook cover credits have included: Chapel vol.3 issue # 1, 1997 (Awesome Entertainment). Love Sucks: the series #5, 1997 (ACE). Iron Wings vol. 2 issue 2, 2000 (Image Comics).

Chris has illustrated 10 interior pages of the D.E.A. Enforcers for the Crime Wave Anthology #1, 2009 (Three J Productions, LLC).

Torres’ painted art has appeared for multiple concerns including: Tap Dogs NY (Mural work), The Museum of Sex NY (Mural work for the museums opening), Just Designs (Gas Mask image for Rap group), Lawn Gnome Records (“Chasing Sunday” CD packaging design and interior art), Hypnote Recording Concern (“Wolfgang” Painted imagery for use as CD packaging and promotions). Show Glue Music (“The Sleighboys” CD packaging design and interior art). Additionally, Torres designed “Wolfgang” a singing vocoded voice robot for Hypnote Records.

Recently, Chris’ work was displayed along with other artists at The Longwood Art Gallery at Hostos University located in the Bronx, NY under the title “Dream Sequence” (2009). Currently he is working on a number of projects for Atlas Unleashed.

Personally, I don't know of a better way to finish off the year. James certainly saved the best for last, if you know what I mean. Belkis, it has been great being able to spend the year with you.

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