Alla "Leslava" Avramenko
In this issue, I repeatedly recall the records of various communities on Facebook. Let’s recollect from the common. You go through the forest, on your way there is corpse/hands/bun with poppy — your actions. Let’s imagine now that you come to visit a friend, and in his house there is a lamp from the head of a corpse, from the ceiling there are arms and legs. Your actions: press Esc, use SOE (SOE, return roll from MMORPG), note the flawless taste of a friend, your option. What will you choose?
Leslava: Hello. Please, introduce yourself and tell us about yourself. I’m sure that a lot of people want to know about you more interesting things. What inspired you to create horror and gore masks, sculptures, and interior items?
Tony Mucci, my friends call me Mooch. I’m 50 years old grew up in a little town called Naplate. I was around the age of 8-9 when i started drawing with pencil. I’d draw monsters with gored out eyes and toes growing out of the side of there head. Did a lot of drawing during school, hope my mom doesn’t read this? I remember on Saturday and Sundays at noon or one there was always a monster movie on, Dracula, the werewolf, mummy, and all originals Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney Christopher Lee, Vincent price to name a few. And always watched every Godzilla movie i could. That was the only time as a kid i was inside, any other time i was out with my friends now u have to remember this was back in the mid 70’s. All we had was our imagination and a few tv stations. I would always ride my bike to the mall to go into the book store and look at the latest issue of Fangoria i believe that started in 1979. I would of been around 12. I actually had all my drawings from as far back as 5th grade, but got lost. During high school I worked with oil paints and more sketching. After high school i seen a guy at a carnival air brushing T-shirts i was amazed, just had to buy one, took to the air brush like a fish to water, in between then and now i was self taught i might add no schools at, some could say the school of hard knocks. Ok so between then and now 2017 I’ve learned to draw, paint with acrylic and oils, air brush T-shirts and murals, paint kids faces at craft shows, Wood burn, scroll saw work, did tattoos for about six months, wood working, taxidermy, wrote poems, silk screening, i just had been given talents from both my mom and my dad. I have the ability to sit down and say ok I’m going to start working with clay sculpt a head make a mold pour it with silicone and paint it, it was almost that easy, don’t get me wrong many many drops of blood sweat and tears came along with it. When you are passionate about something and it just eats at you until you get it right! To me that’s what an artist truly is. My real passion was special effect make up and props, even thought i wasn’t able to begin that journey as soon as I’d like to it has begun! It was just the right time in my life, I’m guessing because I’m terrible with dates who has time to remember dates anyways? Approximately 2012 is when i started sculpting with clay for the first time, that was scary! I’d always had been intimidated with sculpting my mom is great at it. So i guess one thing led to the other after the first zombie i made i looked at it and said to myself hey i might just be able to do this sculpting thing! I’m to a point now where i have so many ideas and things i want to create i worry sometimes if I’m going to live long enough to finish them all?
Leslava: Tell me honestly, you just do not like the tasteless design of the house and you show how to do it beautifully?
Well i basically come up with an idea to design something, and don’t usually have a specific thing or agenda for what’s created. I create it from warped ideas in my head and when done, then start to imagine what it can be used for. Each and every person has there own taste, i don’t judge! Pretty much what ever floats your boat.
Leslava: How does the manufacturing process take place, what materials do you use? How many hours is it necessary to finish the work completely, for example, a head lamp?
The manufacturing process is going good! When you figure that I have one worker (myself) I get an occasional hand from my daughter Alex, every now and then. It’s all me in my little basement. I make 99% of my work out of gel 10 platinum silicone. It was VERY important to me that used the best materials i could. I don’t care for latex it’s a plant based rubber that eventually dries up, it may take years and years but isn’t comparable to silicone. Silicone is much more skin like and has the best movement when it comes to masks. Down side is it’s very expensive, 230.00 per gallon kit. But to me it’s worth it and I’m sure my customers would agree. And to fill my parts i use a F3 soft foam works great with silicone. How many hours to make a lamp, well sculpting of the head would be done first, i only work on Saturday Sunday and Monday the other days i work a full time job. So at least a few weekends to do the sculpt, a full day to make the Mold, which i use a poly rubber. It’s cheap and strong. The mother Mold is made out of plaster bandages. So once the Mold is ready i poor some silicone in and slosh it around until it cures maybe 15 min or so. Usually do this three times. Oh forgot the color, the silicone i use is semi transparent so i add a little flesh,white,yellow,blue and a touch of red. Also i add flocking red,brown, and tan. This breaks up the colors to give it that I was alive once look! Next i put a wooden rod into the head and secure with rubber bands the rod is rubbed with Vaseline so it can easily be pulled out of the foam, which goes in next gets filled to the neck. Once the head is done i get a lamp, i get all my lamps second hand keeps the cost down and keeps each one unique. I take the lamp completely apart, so i have a base and the hollow metal rod that goes up the lamp. So because of the wooden dowel i have a nice straight hole to slide the head down onto the base. The light fixture and electrical cord are brand new. Now i use a piece of tubing for a fridge water line pull a bunch of foam out of the eye and insert the tubing up to the light fixture make the eyeball then drill a hole in the back use use standard pull chain and blood colored plastic resin to glue it in and give the appearance of blood and meat run it through the tube and install it in the pull chain fixture. The base gets some rigid foam put on it then put some red silicone for the bigger areas i might use a store bought 100% clear silicone has a 20 year life out side in the elements figure to last at least 50 to 100 maybe longer inside? Lost track of time never really keep track of how long it takes to make one, if i had guess I’d say considering u have the head mold done, your looking at around 20 hours. So if i was getting payed by the hour and charge 285 for the lamp I’m only making 14.25 an hour lol that’s not very much considering your getting a custom hand made item, this is why i don’t look at it like that. For me, when a customer gets one in the mail and messages me that it’s just amazing and how much they love it, to me that’s a paycheck right there! That’s what drives me, making something and seeing someone’s reaction!
Leslava: Your work is not only a work of art, but also a reflection of our society. I think that you are literally, turning the soul inside out. It is known that pictures are able to heal, change people’s lives. What do you awaken in people? How does their life change?
I appreciate that, not everyone sees art in what i do. Each piece I work on I pour my heart and soul into it, the energy and passion that’s used is unmatched. When I’m done for the day I’m mentally exhausted! I truly put a piece of me in every thing I create. I would certainly hope that my work has brought smiles, raised eyebrows, laughter, and in extreme instances tears of joy. Maybe someone reads my story and is inspired to create a masterpiece of there own.
Leslava: How do others react? Is there an interesting story?
I usually get some pretty positive reactions, and some not so much. I do have a few stories for you. The zombie i made and put on my suv stays on all year. I own my home and was at Menards getting flowers for the yard, yeah i said flowers! So i go in grab a cart and buy a whole cart full of flowers, pay for them and head back to my truck. Look up to see a cop parked next to me, I’m like ok here we go! So he says is this yours? Yep sure is, he wanted to know why i had it there i told him 2 reasons i like it, and i make special effects, props and stuff. He’s like ok, i can give u a ticket for disorderly conduct! I’m like ok acting surprised, he said someone complained that i was scaring the customers off. So the cop went inside to talk to the manager and see if i was welcome there again? But before that three employees one in a shirt and tie, took a bunch of pics, I’m like great I’m going to jail lol! So the cop told me to leave and he would call me and let me know what’s going on. So i loaded up the flowers and was leaving when out the door comes this little frail old nun! So i wondered did she follow me here? And go in and complain. So i get Home half hour goes buy and i get a call from the police officer. He’s says there’s no problems at all in fact the manager was outside taking pics for himself to show people and that i was always welcome he and his employees loved it. And that was that lol never did find out who complained. I’ve had notes on my windshield to but both those were positive i still have them one was from the zoo parking lot said how AWSOME it was and keep up the good work. Really makes you feel good. The last one i was driving home in town going 35 mph when this old couple pulls up the old man was driving and never looked over at me just straight ahead now his wife on the other hand was chewing me out, her mouth and head bobbing like a bobble head, she was going two forty and she was pointing her finger at me. This went on for a few minutes, i was laughing so hard i nearly pissed my self! I just wish i could of heard what she was saying lmao!
Leslava: What inspires you?
Books, magazines, movies, other artists work Sometimes i get inspired buy just walking around a hardware store as silly as that sounds.
Leslava: Where are your works used?
A lot are used in haunted houses around the US, i get quite a few collectors that buy my work they can see it’s a one of a kind piece. Some have Home haunts they set up, one woman made a witches house used a lot of my work but the attention to detail was mind blowing. Then i can’t forget the customers that buy my work just because they think it’s amazing.
Leslava: What are you working on now?
Right now i have a very large order going to a haunted house. But other than that I’ve got an autopsy girl i call her I’d like to make a table of sorts for her to lay on. I’m thinking tubes and wires coming from her body. Maybe a device holding her eyes open and her brain exposed something only nightmares are made of lol. I just finished a creepy old man clown mask, i was pretty happy with that.
Leslava: What are the problems of contemporary art?
To be honest, i really don’t categorize art! It’s just art to me.
Leslava: What is your favorite horror movie? What are you afraid of?
I’d have to say ‘‘the Evil dead’’ movies, Bruce Campbell is the man! really original filming and effects slap stick comedy blended with a nightmare and lots of blood! and a close second the original ‘‘Exorcist’’ movie freaked the shit out of me, those white eyes. Fears? SNAKES and failure!
Leslava: A few words to fans of horror.
Keep an open mind, don’t see things with tunnel vision. Remember when your looking at an artists piece, always be respectful by taking the time to really look and study there work. I have photo albums of some of my work, nothing worse than someone paging through it like a owners manual! Not even looking at the details or what it took to create something like that,whatever it may be. It may just be a severed arm or foot. But there’s a lot of blood sweat and tears that flow from it, if u look close enough!