Ric Frane’s paintings are filled with classic horror imagery, pinup girls, fantasy, and danger. Formally trained at the York Academy of Arts and Antonelli Institute of Art and Photography, Frane applies classical painting techniques to his own modern style with fantasy and horror subject matter.
Holly Q, Horrornews (HN): When I look at your art, especially the monsters/pinups, I get a nostalgic feel, while at the same time, it’s modern and feels current. Clearly, classic horror films are one inspiration. What else influences you, in terms of art and pop culture?
Ric Frane (RF): Films in general are my main influence. People, models, friends, and even words can influence a piece.
HN: You’ve painted a wide range of subjects, from monsters to warriors, demons, Samurai and erotica. Who has been your favorite subject(s)?
RF: Well I have two that I enjoy equally. Pinups and monsters. One day I decided I should put the two together. And with that, my favorite series of paintings was born. These have been very well received and my most popular images.
HN: I love that you did a self portrait in the monster/pinup style. Do you get a lot of requests to paint people and their significant other like that?
RF: No one has yet. I did that piece for our anniversary. I kept posting that I was working on the greatest monster and pinup piece ever. No one knew what it was going to be. After I posted the piece, it received more feedback than any other work to date. It was fun and I’m glad everyone loved it.
HN: There is a piece on your site called “In Loving Memory of the Baroness.” It’s one of my favorites — what is it about? It is a photographic piece?
RF: I was at an art show with a group of artists and we decided we should try doing different styles of work under assumed names. I originally was going to do fantasy oil paintings, something I haven’t done in a long time, but I have this love for Steampunk imagery, and Baron Von Reign was born.
I was putting together reference for a western version of Batman. I was throwing this together on photoshop and then I thought to myself., “Well this is almost done. Why paint it?” With a little more digital painting I came up with my new style.
Mixing photography, digital and traditional painting. Sometimes I will print out what I am working on, use traditional painting techniques on it then rescan and do a little more digital work before it is finished.
“In Loving Memory of the Baroness” started as an antique photo I found. I had to digitally paint a face on her as it could not be seen in the dark photo. This is a piece you are supposed to add you own story to. Based on the title you are to assume it is Baron Von Reign’s deceased wife.
Some people don’t notice until they look closer that the torso of her body has been replaced with clockwork parts.
The Baron has immortalized his wife by turing her into an automaton.
HN: You work with many beautiful models. How do you find the perfect model for a painting you have in mind? Or do the models inspire the paintings?
RF: A little of both. If I get an idea for a painting I try to match the model to it but sometimes the model does drive the painting and inspire a new piece. I always try to get to know my models a little so their personalities come through on the piece.
HN: Balancing business and art can be a challenge for a lot of artists. As an owner of the Frame Shoppe and Gallery in Talleyville, Delaware, how do you balance business and art?
RF: Art is a business. I’m lucky enough to be married to the best business partner, model, wife, and friend. She really is the one that takes care of “business”. I just work there.
HN: Do you have a favorite horror movie?
RF: Hard question but I’d have to say “The Bride of Frankenstein”.
HN: What are you working on now?
Right now I am working on pairing pinups with historical figures.
Vlad Tepis, Elizabeth Bathory, and Edgar Allan Poe.
HN: Cool! Thanks for your time!
If you’re ever in the Wilmington, Delaware area, stop in to see Ric and Wendy — and some of the art on Display — at The Talleyville Frame Shoppe and Gallery at 3625 Silverside Rd, Talleyviller Center (behind the PNC). “Dark Werks: Art by Baron Von Reign” will be on display through November.
To see more of Ric’s work or to purchase prints, visit ricfrane.com
Interview: Artist Ric Frane