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Legiongp's avatar

Pickman's Model Mouth Shut

Richard Upton Pickman, a controversial Boston Artist, vanished from his North End studio in 1926. Before the demolishing of the Foster Court tenement, the landlord, who wished to remain anonymous, gathered the artist's effects and held them until he could broker an estate sale. Many curiosity seekers came to the sale to see what remained of the Ghoulish painters workshop. There were many canvases, brushes, pigments and unfinished works, as well as a camera, tripod, draperies and dried flowers. It seemed that the patrons were to be disappointed by all the mundane trappings of an artist's studio until the last object was brought out. It was a mounted skull, an anatomical study used by artist around the world, except this one was different. Its anatomy was bizarre, as if a human and jackal had been mixed with a nightmare. The shock and malevolence of the piece was so strong that instead of purchasing the jewel of the sale, the patrons left, shaken and sickened. It stayed with the landlord for years. He would complain of strange scratching sounds in his basement, and the feeling of being watched when he walked home at night. In the end The Rumtucket Trading Company purchased it, and is willing to sell it...To you.

Hollow cast resin, brass stand and fittings with articulating jaw. Human sized. A very limited amount of these will be for sale at the NecronomiCON in Providence this August.
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© 2013 - 2021 Legiongp
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Unfortunately, I am unable to attend. Is there any possibility of purchasing one other than through NecronomiCON? Pickman's Model is one of my favorite stories. I have an extensive collection of Lovecraft inspired art. This would make an excellent addition to my gallery.
That is really quite splendid. So believable but still very creepy.
Legiongp's avatar
Thank you. I am always striving to make the unbelievable believable.
murfman's avatar
very cool can't wait to see it in person!
Legiongp's avatar
It will be waiting for you at the Providence Art Club! And at the HLP Merch table.
NaamahDarling's avatar
I really love that this is so well-observed and actually rather understated. You didn't exaggerate the bony ridges or distort the orbits to make it look "OMG EEEEEVUL", and so it actually succeeds at being creepy, because it's *plausible*. From the front, straight-on, it looks almost human. I play with bones for fun, real ones, and this doesn't outrage me by looking relentlessly badly-researched. *Really* well-done. Bravo.
Legiongp's avatar
Thank you so much. I imagined a "ghul" skull as being a mix of a human and Jackal skull, so I looked at both, and tried to figure out what elements I needed to keep and which elements I could loose. The soul is in the eyes, so I tried to keep the orbits and nose as human as possible. It needed the power in the jaw and teeth to be an above average scavenger, so that dictated what I kept from the jackal. I needed to elongate the skull and ad a ridge for the jaw muscle to attach. A skull is a skull, evil and expression comes from the soft tissues. I get a chill when the unbelievable can grasp onto a grain of truth. I trusted that sticking to anatomical necessities would give it enough realism for the mind to put an evil face to the skull. You have made my day by picking up everything I was putting down. Thanks again.
NaamahDarling's avatar
"A skull is a skull, evil and expression comes from the soft tissues."

Yes, exactly!  It's a real nitpick for me when people overemphasize features or add features that have no anatomical purpose.  It can look SO COOL, but it's not frightening to me at all.  It's way more scary to use the same principles you find in nature to tell a story about a real creature, how it lived, what it ate, what it evolved from, how it hunted.  I find I'm way more impressed by a good-sized sagittal crest or overlapping shearing teeth, for instance, than by EEEEEVIL EYESOCKETS.  It's the difference between "Yeah, I guess that thing looks mean" and "Oh, Jesus, I know what that actually means, and that is terrifying."  I just saw the open-mouth version and . . . UUUUUuuuuugh!  *shudders*  LOVE it.

Like I said, I play with skulls for fun, and canids are something of a specialty, so I really appreciate what you've done.

Pickman's Model was possibly my favorite Lovecraft story as a kid.  I'd retell it to the other kids on the playground and scare them out of their wits.  Good times.  (This says kind of a lot about my upbringing, I know.  My dad was awesome.)

For fun, and if you ever need future sculpting reference material for something I have, my skull and bone pics are here -- the link goes to a flickr set: http:/
Very cool! Great work as always.
Legiongp's avatar
Thanks. Trying something new :)
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