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Horror Art: The make-up and photography of San Gato Photography, Part 1

October 26, 2013

Today I wanted to promote a friend and talented up-and-coming horror make-up/photographer.  Her work will be presented in a series of posts.  But if you can’t wait to see all of her work now, then you can find her on San Gato Photography (@SanGatoPhoto on Twitter) or her website  You can read more about her in this article:,7849.

Today I wanted to feature some of her photos.  I thought I’d also give a made-up title along with my 100% UNsolicited opinion of each photo and hope that my jokes or comments don’t annoy the artist.

I should add that the lovely lady in the photos is, in fact, the artist and that I have been given permission to use these images.

I’m torn between calling this one The Siren and Siesta.  But when I look into her eyes I feel that she is looking at me like I’m “dinner.”

Okay, so look at her hair in this one.  It gives the feeling that she could be underwater.  I like to think that this is a contemporary approach to a Siren.  In Greek mythology, sirens are dangerous and beautiful creatures, portrayed as attractive women who would lure sailors with their enchanting music (the Siren’s song) to shipwreck on the rocky coast of their island, perhaps to then eat them.  I’m not entirely sure.  I’m not up on my mythology.  But this could totally be a Roger Corman approach to a modern siren once her prey is within reach and she reveals her true man-eating form.  The black voided eyes smack of evil, beauty and the abyssal depths of the ocean all at once, don’t they?

My other thought was that this looks like the photo could have been taken with the subject upside down.  Like this…

So, with this in mind, it strikes me as a vampire hanging upside down from the ceiling after a meal.  Perhaps she actually attacked her victim from this position.  Why not?  In either case, that victim was loaded with tryptophan and now she needs to take a vamp-nap from her ceiling perch.  The powdery unevenness of the white foundation likes the skin to being paled with undeath.

A third option, which is just way too easy, is that she’s possessed by an evil spirit.  But we’ve seen that in sooo many movies.  I’d really rather she be a sexy siren.  What do you think?

In similar style, this could just as well be a The Siren, Vampiric Baptism without the blood, or some manner of witch mid-ritual, to which end I would entitle this Water Birth, insinuating that this ritual harbingers the antichrist, the devil, or some evil force.

Sure, she could be possessed, too. But I like these alternatives more.  Also, the white foundation make-up here is solid in tone.  I’m guessing this was done with an oil-based make-up.  The solid color, jet black eyes and crisply contrasting red lips create a more evil-chic appearance found in contemporary horror.  Whether witch, siren, vampire, demon-possessed or generalized temptress, this make-up is sharp, attractive and commands attentions–and the water submersion with blaring reflections adds intriguing dimension.

This image leaves me feeling at first beguiled, then wondering what lies behind the expression of our artist. The eyes seem nearly friendly and the slightly parted lips insinuate a longing met with a hint of happiness (or the desire for it).  As if in the distance she saw a figure and wasn’t sure if it was her love.  Or maybe the transition is the opposite, from happiness sinking this very moment into defeat, with the eyes about to water.

A final thought is whether she is on her way into the water, or if she is emerging from it.  The two could tell very different stories: death or loss versus rebirth.

The make-up and photography of San Gato Photography, Part 2

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