November 1, 2009

Veruca Salt poster + Spider Babies

Vercua Salt rock poster // archival print // 12 x 18

3 prints available at Space 242 Boston Dec. 5th

Original drawing // graphite + ink on Reeves // 9 x 12

Framed original available at Gallery 1988 San Fransisco Dec 5th '09 - Jan 5th '10

I was very excited when Gallery 1988 in San Fransisco asked me to send some works on paper to their upcoming PAPER PUSHERS show in December.  Halloween season has me really moved me to do some drawings of bizarre cult film characters, but I didn't want to do something that was inextricably "Halloween-y" (Does that make sense?)  

So it was time to do some inspiration-hunting!

While watching the super bizarre cult movie "Spider Baby", I was particularly struck by Jill Banner.  Sadly, she didn't make many movies, as she was killed in a car accident at only 35.  (and apparently was in a relationship with Marlon Brando!)  She kind of became my muse, though I don't like to say that since "became my muse" sounds slightly pretentious.

She seems totally unaware of the camera while she's acting.  The tangled hair and dirty nightgown make her deceptively ordinary but she's so pretty!  Now, this is one messed up film - people seem to either love it or hate it.  I adore it, even though it's kind of an acquired taste - and I really can't say why!

Jill Banner  1964

Tomorrow Yuka and I are going to celebrate All Soul's Day at the Forest Hill's Cemetery in Jamaica Plain.  It's an amazing few acres of old trees and gothic architecture - and every year for Dia de los Muertos they throw a fun festival!

I'll report on how it goes this week - I'm not expecting to see my Uncle Lefty (may he rest in peace) but you never know!


  1. even though he seems 24/7 drunk (and was, indeed, a famous drunk), there's a lot of loving commentary on the spider baby dvd about how lon chaney jr stayed sober during the whole shoot, and how the speech where he cries made everyone cry. spider baby rules!

  2. Wow this is a phenomenal piece. I love the colors in the VS poster. And congrats on the SF show!! Yer the shizz!!
    I want to see 'Spider Baby' -it looks like fantastically bizarro.

  3. Awesome artwork.

  4. Anonymous2.11.09

    Veronica, this is one of the most spectacular drawings I think you've ever done. There is so much going on in this piece emotionally. Rock on you crazy cat.

  5. So pretty! I love the huge bow she wears in the movie. :D

  6. Thanks so much for the kind words!

    Jake - Yes, I did hear about his sad drinking habits. Watching him in this movie, it's like he's not even acting - it's kind of painful!

    Jen - I know! The bow is amazing! I think it was this movie that brought back the head bow haha

  7. Wow! Great take on Jill Banner - really catches the mystery in her character! Great stuff and congrats on the Paper Pushers exhibition! :D

    Now I want to watch Spider Baby!

  8. Thanks for the nice words!

    You should watch it - it's really weird, just go with its' sense of humor and you'll have a good time

  9. Oh I like it, I like it! Especially your inspiration. And she has such a bizarre back story.

  10. Oooh! How enchanting! At first I thought you drew Helena Bonham Carter hahaha. The expression just resembles her so much!

  11. As always, I'm blown away by your work! And it's funny, it made me think of Helena Bonham Carter too...

    I love old cult b-movies. Most I've watched have been martial arts films (hilarioussss) but I love ridiculous stuff like Evil Dead too, and now I want to watch Spider Baby...

  12. Anonymous6.1.10

    Jeez, I just watched "Spider Baby" and couldn't help but fall wickedly in love with Jill Banner, even though she was too young. Something about her went right to my soul. It is horrible that she died so young, although she'll forever be fresh and pretty to everyone. What a vixen!

  13. Jill Banner was amazing in this film and your art work is gorgeous. So happy to find this.

  14. Coming in late to the conversation, but have to jump on the Jill Banner bandwagon. First time I saw SPIDER BABY in the early 90s, I just sat pretty much gobsmacked not quite knowing what to make of it, but succumbing to it's loopy-ness and Virginia Merrye. Watched it, again, and suddenly, I was on the SPIDER BABY bus. Can't count all the times I've watched it now--"Now help me find something sharp!"

    Jill Banner just fascinates me (and I'm a gay guy.) Love her, and thank you for writing about her.