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Friday, August 27, 2010

Visceral Visionaries: Cruella Moxham

I've got a bit of a break from the norm for you this time out, boils and ghouls. That's because things are anything but normal anytime you're dealing with the inscrutable Cruella Moxham, a.k.a. Captain Cruella of the Carnivorous Cadavers. Rather than just making art, you see, Ms. Moxham lives it, and she was very gracious to recently give me a glimpse into her macabre world.

Juggling a collection of impressive projects at any given time, the main happening that Cruella is currently involved in is a zombie crawl known as the Village Invasion, coming to Saugerties, New York on Saturday, October 16. She discussed the event at length with me, in addition to the many other things with which she has been and is currently involved...

Let’s talk a bit about the zombie walks. The one you’re involved in promoting right now is the Village Invasion in Saugerties. Tell me a little about this. How did you get involved in all of it?

It’s hard to describe, actually. I’ll tell you one thing, I would never have been able to really get it going the way I have without utilizing social media. It helped me organize everything, and make the project a reality.

It’s your project, though, right--from the ground up?
Yes, it’s completely my own. This zombie crawl means a lot to me. Actually, organizing events like this in general is what I live for. It’s something I’ve always done; it’s in my blood. My family has been putting on a fundraiser now for 12 years, raising money for juvenile diabetes through a, “Car Show for a Cause”. We raise a great deal of cash in one day in just a few hours. It draws thousands of people.

So what is it about zombies that made you want to organize this whole event?
Nothing. I’m just good at it and I am very fond of all things related to horror, evil and Halloween. I found at an early age that I was different than other people. The ordinary things that others did were extremely boring to me, so I created my own entertainment. Besides, people are easily led—well; I suppose they like to call it, “willing participation.”

What is it that motivates you?
It’s just a great experience, to be able to pull off something successful like that, especially in my hometown. I consider it a success if 50 people show up, or even five, for that matter. It’s not really about me, it’s about the event and the people who come and enjoy in what I’ve created. What can I say; I’m a very complicated person, Brian. My desire is to create something where people can lose their inhibitions and have fun.

Tell me about some of the other events you’ve been involved with.
I rented an art studio and a gallery for three years in Kingston. I had art exhibits that would change monthly. One month the theme was, “Obsession and Fetishes”. The artwork ranged from the typical fetishes one can imagine just from the title of the show all the way to someone being obsessed with food. I pulled some strings and had some close friend who dabble in S&M come in their domme gear , that really shook up the town. Another memorable theme at the gallery was one where I covered the space in assorted shapes and sizes of mirrors. I called it the, “Reflection of the Flesh”, where YOU were the art. I set up paint stations with assorted non-toxic paints and let people at themselves with a photographer capturing the moments it was fantastic! That’s same day I orchestrated a local salsa band to play on the street, the date was Cinco de Mayo. Dancing painted people everywhere, the energy was amazing! I also have been very involved in the Kingston’s Artist Soapbox Derby and have won every year that I have entered into it.

I understand you also have done a lot of work in movie makeup?
Yes, I worked for a company called Aesthetic Creations. I was an assistant makeup artist, in the special effects department. I met a lot of interesting and talented people; most of them had worked or were working for Universal Studios. I really learned so much. I worked on the tail end of Beloved, creating silicon molds and prosthetics. I also got to do that for Bringing Out the Dead, directed by Martin Scorsese. Who is kind of a pompous jerk, by the way. But I got to do a lot of prosthetics for that movie, for Nic Cage, Marc Anthony and other character actors.
I also worked on Jim Jarmosh’s Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai, in which I created prosthetics for faces, a fake forehead, for a character who was going to be shot in the head. It was definitely interesting to come into work for a company everyday where the props from the jail scene in Silence of the Lambs were hanging overhead.

On the other end of the spectrum, you also currently do a lot of work with floral arrangements. How did you get into that?
While I was subletting the gallery and studio space from a florist I would be there late every day either painting or working on the next event for the studio, and helped her out with the shop from time to time. The shop eventually closed, but I never stopped doing that kind of work. It turned out I was really good at it and I enjoyed being surrounded by flowers, who wouldn’t? People started seeking me out, and pretty soon I was doing arrangements for all kinds of events, from weddings to funerals.

So do you have any trouble at all balancing these two worlds, zombies and floral arrangements?
Not at all, I’m always busy. I am more creative in chaos. As I said, I’m a complex person. I’m from two worlds. As a child, I was very confused as to who I was supposed to be. Whenever I was told I couldn’t do something that was like a challenge to me. And it became a challenge to do as much as possible, and to be good at whatever crossed my path.

So what’s the next obstacle to be conquered? What does the future hold for Cruella Moxham?
I’m thinking the world and then maybe the Vault of Horror…yeah, sounds about right.

* * * * * * * * * *

To find out more about the Village Invasion, check out the official event page over at Crawl of the Dead. Also, be sure to connect with Ms. Moxham via Facebook!


James C. Sugrue said...

I want to go to there.

Emily Louise Church said...

I always wanted to become a professional special effects make-up artist, almost studied it at college.
BTW if you follow my blog then you'll have to unfollow and refollow. It's being an absolute jackass.

Strange Kid said...

This 'Invasion' sounds pretty cool according to what I read on the site and so does Cruella.

B-Sol said...

Emily, sorry to hear your blog is being a jackass. I will unfollow and refollow.

And Rondal, I'd have to agree on both counts.

Spooky Pie said...

Hey! I love your blog so much I gave it an award!
Get it over here at: This girl Digs Horror

B-Sol said...

Thanks for the award!

Calavera Kid said...

Cruella is certainly a talented and inspiring ghoulie! Thanks, you two, for the great interview!

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