Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Artist Seven: Ray Villafane

Ray Villafane is a professional pumpkin carver. Well, that's probably not his actual title, but it sounds good.

Ray Villafane was born to a poor farming family. He whittled his own toys out of wood. Eventually his family was so poor that they actually ran out of wood (damn kids using up all the fire-building materials) and he had to start carving toys out of pumpkins. You can't make this stuff up.

Villafane graduated from SVA in New York City in 1991 and has been featured on countless TV shows. In 2010 he carved pumpkins at the White House.

Carving pumpkins, eh? That's impressive, I gue--

Oh my god.

Oh my god.


*prolonged screams of terror*

The reason I find Ray Villafane's work so profound is that it completely defies people's normal idea of "pumpkin carving". He's not carving holes into it. He's carving shapes OUT of it. Like marble.

Sweet, creamy, orange marble.

I love the expressions that he incorporates into his design. They're cartoony, but anatomically accurate, and SO expressive. I love how he can make the pumpkin flesh look like human flesh and in the instances of the ones that he's holding, it looks like it's a real, living being. I want to be able to replicate this kind of sweet, living look from a completely static work of art. I find it lovely.

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