If you’re anything like me, gorging yourself on Halloween candy – which I do the day after Halloween on half-price candy from the local drugstore – is something that happens only once. After my one binge, I’m left with quite a bit of candy that either sits there, or gets pawned off to either the office, my nephews or the trash. Sure it’s wasteful, but I recycle so everything balances out in the end.
Experimental Artist Eric Millikin had a better idea, though. Instead of chucking all that candy in the trash, he decided to use the candy to make images of famous movie monsters. I caught up with Millikin via email and asked him how he goes about creating his masterpieces.
The first portrait he made was of Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th, and after making trip after trip to the store to find the right color packaging, he said he wound up with roughly 35 different kinds of candy and it took him nearly a month. Fortunately, the process has gotten much faster since then.
“First I’ve got that ton of Halloween candy in every possible color I could find. Then I eat a whole bunch of that candy so I’ve got a huge sugar rush going. After that, just picking out the right monsters is a challenge, picking the right pose I want them in, the right expressions,” he said.
“Anyway, then I’ve got Halloween candy spread out on the floor in different arrangements that I photograph, and then I just keep eating more candy and taking more and more photos, and stitching those photos together until I’ve either got a totally sweet monster portrait or I’m so jacked up on sugar that I need to run out into the street to bench press a car.”
Presumably, after bench-pressing a Volkswagen, Millikin falls into a diabetic coma, though he didn’t admit it. When the portraits are finished, they measure 7 feet by 7 feet and Millikin has gotten so good at creating them, he can now do an entire portrait in a single day. He then takes photos of them and has been posting them on The Detroit Free Press.
“I’ve got a long list of [monsters] that I want to do. So many that I’ve probably got enough for the next five Halloweens. I haven’t done a werewolf yet, or a mummy, or the Creature from the Black Lagoon,” Millikin said. “Right now I’m working on the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters.”
If he’s putting this much time and effort into art for Halloween, I can only imagine how unique his costume is.
Since Halloween is over in just a few hours, I imagine it won’t be too long before Millikin moves on to other projects. A life-sized Thanksgiving pilgrim made out of mashed potatoes, stuffing and turkey, perhaps? I’m sure he’ll come up with something more original than a gingerbread house for Christmas.
Cheers to you, Mr. Millikin. Don’t let that Volkswagen fall on you.