Conjoined III: Chet Zar's Annual Art Show Includes Busts of Abraham Lincoln and Raoul Duke

Comments (0)


Mon, Jan 21, 2013 at 10:52 AM
click to enlarge Lincoln by Kazu Tsuji - LIZ OHANESIAN
  • Liz Ohanesian
  • Lincoln by Kazu Tsuji

See also:

*Beavis & Butthead in Real Life, the Viral Hit Sculpture, in 'Conjoined II' Show

*5 Artsy Things to Do in L.A. This Week

Abraham Lincoln's head glowed through the gallery window. Even from a distance, the bust is impressive. Large and swathed in light, the piece seemed to beckon, "Just wait until you get inside. Wait until you see me up close." That took a while. The opening event for "Conjoined III: The Final Chapter" at Santa Monica's Copro Gallery, curated by artist Chet Zar, was packed. But after about a half-hour of crafty maneuvering through a dense crowd, I came face to sculpted face with the 16th president of the United States.

Lincoln, by Kazu Tsuji, is a 45-inch bust. On its stand, the piece is 80 inches high, taller than the famously towering president. Its size lends an air of majesty to something that bears all the imperfections of humanity. The brow furrows. The eyes hang heavy. Inside the gallery, Lincoln appears greater than human, yet consumed by all the worries of the nation.

By day, Tsuji is a special effects and prosthetics make-up artist with loads of credits to his name. He's the artist who made Joseph Gordon-Levitt look like a young Bruce Willis in Looper. Like many of the participants in "Conjoined III," Tsuji excels at blurring the line between fantasy and reality.

For three years, Chet Zar has brought together a diverse group to focus on "dimensional" art. This year's show appeared larger than in the past. Zar, who has amassed a large following for his own work, recently released the book Black Magick and was signing copies at the event. As was the case last year, the show included those who work primarily in the gallery world and those who best known for their skills on movie sets. With artists working in everything from bronze to silicone, the results are always eclectic. This year's work included the sleek, the macabre, the hyperreal and the surreal. It's a show that will mess with your head. Your jaw might drop -- "Is that Mr. T? No, it's a bust of Mr.T." -- as you squeeze through the gallery.

Up next: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Related Location

Related Content

Now Trending

  • The Man Devoting His Life to the Silver Lake Trader Joe's Parking Lot

    Egee Mabolis considers managing the notoriously screwed-up parking lot at the Trader Joe's in Silver Lake to be his sacred duty. He has dreamt of an old man, all in white, wandering the lot, watching him. It's always noon in the dream, and Mabolis is always standing beneath the blue...
  • 5 Great L.A. Drum Circles (Besides the Venice One)

    After a few recent debacles between drummers and police officers at the famous Venice Beach drum circle over new excessive noise ordinances, it's time to uncover some convenient L.A. alternatives that won't have you worrying about being involved in a small riot afterwards. The inception of drum circles began in the 1960s and...
  • Inside L.A.'s Indie Lit Scene

    "Congratulations, you've just published your first book!" declares Neelanjana Banerjee, snapping an iPhone photo as 10-year-old Amilia Estrada grins and holds up several typewritten pages bound by a hand-drawn cardstock cover. It's a warm Saturday afternoon in late March at the second annual Grand Park Book Fest - a gathering...


Los Angeles Event Tickets