France-based artists Patrick Massobrio and Nan take the long forgotten VHS tape and breathe new life (or death) into them. Long before Netflix, streaming, and even DVDs, there was the VHS tape, which are now sitting in landfills by the tons or at the thrift store. The bulky tapes didn't offer much in the way of fidelity, but they were a tangible item to hold in your hand to see the cover art and read the synopsis of the movie. It didn't take long for the smaller DVD, promising crisp visuals and unparalleled sonic capabilities, to wipe the VHS completely out of favor.
But now Massobrio and Nan have taken the VHS tape and repurposed it as a canvas for their art. Massobrio takes the tapes and paints iconic horror villains and other movie characters on to the tape, utilizing the guideposts as eyes for his renditions. He then affixes the tape to a painting of the character's body on a normal canvas and the effect is totally creative and a little reminiscent of The Garbage Pail Kids. Most of the paintings read Video Home Slasher underneath the character, which of course is a play on Video Home System.
The horror characters that Massobrio and Nan have tackled include Pennywise the Clown from IT, Pinhead from Hellraiser, Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street, Michael Myers from Halloween, Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th, and even characters that are not necessarily from the horror genre. Massobrio has also created his own unique versions of Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, Tim Curry from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and the Ghostbusters. Each one is done in Massobrio's highly identifiable style that makes the characters almost seem cute in a perverse way. You can see for yourself over at their official site AliveNotDead.
Massobrio and Nan find their influences from movies and literature, mainly the horror genre. The duo has worked as FX artists on independent horror movies and when they weren't busy, they started what became their Video Store Memories series. Both artists grew up in the time of the VHS tape and have nostalgia for the art depicted on the long boxes as well as the culture that was created in the local video store. The duo started out just using the boxes of the VHS tapes, but later started to include the tapes as a canvas, which lead them to where they are now.
One man's trash is truly another man's treasure when it comes to the art of Massobrio and Nan. Their creations are totally creative and detail oriented. One can easily spend a few minutes looking at the insane detail through a small picture, I can't imagine what they look like in person. Snake from Escape from LA even has a sweet eye patch and a real cigarette dangling from his mouth. Most hair for the characters is the actual tape contained within and other 3D elements are added in later. Check out their work below including an amazing Darth Vader below.
By Patrick Massobrio— RaroVHS (@RaroVHS) February 28, 2017
VHS: Very Hostile Sith pic.twitter.com/PrFt5Iz7WQ
Patrick Massobrio knows what to do with those old VHS tapes.— Save Horror (@savehorror) April 8, 2014
If only modern horror directors could be so creative! pic.twitter.com/3coQeBk8w0