At the mountains of metal: Lovecraft goes bronze!Books/Art/Culture,Features/Interviews,News Ken W. Hanley
Although H.P. Lovecraft has been dead for over 75 years, the author’s influence has seeped into every aspect of horror culture, whether it be film, literature, theater or art. Now, thanks to sculptor Bryan Moore and filmmaker Jovanka Vuckovic, the author’s visage will remain as everlasting as his work in the form of a life-sized bronze bust, set to permanently reside outside the Providence Athenaeum Library in Rhode Island. However, there is one catch: they need your help to make it happen!
Moore and Vuckovic (pictured below) plan to unveil the life-sized sculpture as part of this year’s NecronomiCon, the H.P. Lovecraft convention taking place August 22-25 in Providence, and have turned to crowd-funding to realize the project. But make no mistake—even though the money is coming from the prolific writer’s fans, this venture comes from a place of reverence and passion.
“I’ve always been a Lovecraft fan,” Moore tells Fango, “and have sculpted many of his characters, like Cthulhu, Abdul al Hazred and even a few versions of the old gent himself over the years. I felt that since Edgar Allan Poe has numerous life-size monuments, why shouldn’t Lovecraft? It’s a tribute that’s long overdue.”
Previously employed by the likes of Mattel and The Upper Deck company, Moore’s reputation as “the satanic sculptor” for his occult fascination led him naturally to this endeavor, and he hopes the Lovecraft bust will be the first of many of its ilk. “The goal was always to realize a series of iconic authors and place these bronze portraits at libraries all over [the world],” Moore admits. “My next bust will very likely be Raymond Chandler and then, hopefully, the great Stephen King if he’s amenable. It would be nice to actually sculpt a subject who is living. Possibly Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley and, yes, even another Poe portrait would be wonderful to do!”
According to Moore, the bust, based on a 12-inch model (pictured below) he currently offers on his website, will be composed mostly of the 2 feet from the crown of Lovecraft’s head to his sternum, which will then be placed on a 4-foot pedestal to simulate the author’s actual height. “Hopefully, the viewer who stands in front of it will be staring at Lovecraft at eye level!” Moore says.
Such a project doesn’t come cheap, though, and that’s why Vuckovic came in to spearhead the Kickstarter campaign. The writer/filmmaker, who previously used the site to fund her short THE CAPTURED BIRD, enthusiastically boarded the project, and Moore says, “Jovanka is an incredibly dedicated and driven person, and I knew she would be the right catalyst to kick things into high gear to make this project a reality.”
So what’s there to lure potential donors? “As incentives, we’ve got incredible corporate sponsors on board, including Dark Horse Comics, Shout! Factory, Dark Delicacies, The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society and plenty of artists such as Mike Mignola donating original art,” Vuckovic explains. “We’ll also be offering once-in-a-lifetime experiences, such as dinners with celebrities and VIP experience packages, along with plenty of other good reasons to back the project.”
With Lovecraft comes the question of separating the man and his legacy, and his controversial beliefs were on the artist’s mind when conceiving the project. “I don’t think we can judge yesterday’s icons by today’s societal mores,” Moore states. “With the Lovecraft bust, hey—it’s about his work. He’s a fascinating subject for many reasons, personal and aesthetic.” Vuckovic was less understanding, yet steadfast regarding the project’s intentions. “I find his Anglophile views repulsive,” she asserts. “I also believe that saying he was a product of his time is too convenient an excuse. But this isn’t about his personal life. It’s about his literary legacy.”
Moore hopes that this project will not only be successful, but also motivate more tributes like it to increase support for public libraries. “We were, amazingly, turned down by about half a dozen locations in Rhode Island before we were graciously accepted by the Providence Athenaeum, so I think we’re blazing a trail with this kind of tribute,” he says. “I hope it won’t be the last!”
When all is said and done, Moore and Vuckovic are simply admirers of a genuine master of horror, and are looking to Lovecraft’s numerous fans and supporters to make this tribute a reality. “I consider Lovecraft an icon of American fiction who has no peer,” Moore says. “Nobody wrote like Lovecraft before he came along, and he changed the face of horror fiction, elevating it into real literature. So much so that the bulk of my own work has had a Lovecraftian influence, and I made a short-film adaptation of his tale ‘Cool Air.’ You cannot go wrong with ‘The Shadow Over Innsmouth,’ either—it’s so emblematic of his style and the time he lived in. His like will not be seen again.”
To donate, check out the incentives or learn more about the project, visit the Kickstarter page; you can follow the project on Twitter and Facebook. To purchase tickets to NecronomiCon 2013 and hopefully see the bust for yourself, visit the event’s official site, and you can learn more on-line about Vuckovic here.