Halloween Special: Char Esme

In the week leading up to October 31st, every day we will be sharing the bone-chilling work of one of our favourite freaky artists, alongside a hair-raisingly festive little interview!

Char Esme lives in Queens, NY but her art kind of indicates that she maybe actually lives in a made-up universe she invented. She makes mock-advertisements for fake toys/products and a lot of other things that could function as commercial propaganda in some hyper-consumerist twisted Willy Wonka type world. Here we show pages from Queasy’s Smileybean Emporium, a collaboration with Lauren Poor that’s like a demented ad-mail flyer you’d find stuffed in your mailbox or see plastered to a wet sidewalk this time of the year. It’s all so perverted and absurd…CAPITALISM IS SCARY! Esme also made these amazing masks — I particularly like “Peepeeboy Barbie” with the ear fluff detail. I wish I could go as “Peepeeboy Barbie” for Halloween. I don’t know Esme personally but I think I would like her, which maybe you think is a gHaStLy thing for someone to say? BOO!  – O.W. 

char_esme_square_dance_1 char_esme_cutie_peepeeboy_barbie
What was your most memorable halloween experience/costume?
 I always get so excited about halloween but it’s usually a disappointment.
What is your favourite horror movie and why?
It’s hard to choose, but one is “Carrie” from 1976. I love it because it’s heartbreaking (a utopian fantasy falls apart into a nightmare..) and shows highschool as the hell that it truly is. What better way is there to begin a horror movie about a teenage girl than with her first period? I also just watched the most disturbing horror movie I’ve ever seen last night, it was called “Dead Ringers.”
What possesses you to create?
I don’t know…something between frustration and fantasy.
Is your work intended to induce fear?
No I think it’s intended to comfort me to be honest..!
What are you most afraid of?
My body deforming.
Do you believe in ghosts?
No..ghosts don’t interest me. Although I did have some nightmares as a kid of chairs moving themselves around the room. And I wrote a story “My Dad in Other Words the Ghost” so maybe I had more of an interest at age 10.
Do you believe in magic?
I’d like to but I don’t think I do. I love a good old fashioned magic trick though.
Have you ever had any sort of supernatural or paranormal encounter?
Yes, I’ve had sleep paralysis — where I “woke up”, got out of bed, feeling strange but everything in my room looked normal, walked across the room and flipped the light switch, and nothing happened… I realized something was wrong. I saw a tiny prehuman man(?) running around in the corner in the dark laughing at me. I ran back into bed and tried to wake up but I couldn’t. Finally I woke up but I couldn’t move my body for a long time. This happened twice in one week and never again.
Given the choice, would you become immortal?
No…that would be torture.