The Zombie Rights Campaign Blog

Zombie Friendly Artist Profile: George Pfau

The Zombie Rights Campaign has been aware of the work of artist George Pfau for a while now, but we have been remiss in bringing him to your attention, and it’s time to rectify that.

Mr. Pfau is a Living Artist, who works in Zombie Art. This in and of itself is not so surprising. What is, however, surprising, is the way he approaches the depiction of Zombies.

Not as the slathering grotesqueries from Film and mass entertainment, but as unique, and intriguing, individuals.

We can get behind that.

Mr. Pfau is particularly interested in exploring the blurry (but we advocate, broad and inclusive) line between the Living and the Dead, the Human and the Inhuman, into which Zombies must negotiate their Unlives.

For example, take his Zombieindex.us project. Mr Pfau described it to us in part:

Zombieindex.us is part of a multi-media investigation prompted by the question: what is a zombie?
The website consists of a zoom-able drawing, a collection of names of people who inspired the drawing, and a network of links embedded inside the pronouns I, we, you, me, and us. Over the past several years I have based my art practice exploring all-things-zombie and am constantly amazed by the breadth of manifestations and possibilities of what a zombie can be.

Emphasis is placed on the amount information is needed to portray a humanoid figure, and thus figures range from detailed and recognizable, to iconic stick figures. Zombies provide a fascinating middle-zone between alive and dead, individual and group, inside and outside. Therefore, my hope for this website is that it can be a celebration of inbetween-ness and the grotesque without necessarily glorifying violence.

Without glorifying violence! Again, we can get behind that.

Last March Mr. Pfau also presented a lecture on the nature of Zombie Art, entitled “Zombies, identified” that I only wish we could have attended. Sadly it fell right during my midterms, across a continent. But just check this description out:

George Pfau will present a slideshow of drawings, film stills, videos, and animations, drawing focus toward the zombie as a learning tool about identity and the ephemeral aspects of being human, rather than a sub-human “other” used to promote negative stereotypes. This project stems from Pfau’s essay entitled “Feverish Homeless Cannibal” which is being published in the forthcoming Zombies in the Academy. The slideshow is about an hour and will be followed by Q and A.

Ah. Art that addresses the Anti-Zombie stereotypes in the media. So refreshing.

So when Mr. Pfau recently told us about his latest project, ‘Zombies in the Landscape’, I knew it was finally time for an in-depth writeup.

But enough reading about the art and process second hand – there’s informative video to be seen.

Zombies in the Landscape from George Pfau on Vimeo.

Intriguing. I particularly like the re-imaginings of Dawn of the Dead. Seen from afar, it seems so.. peaceful, doesn’t it?

I suppose that’s true of all the conflicts in our lives and Unlives.

Given enough distance, we’re all just people, Zombies and the Living alike. The trick is to maintain that knowledge from a closer perspective.

So our ZRC hats are off to George Pfau for his excellent illustration(s) of our shared humanity. We need more artists like him working today.

We rate his work as thoroughly Zombie Friendly

Full Disclosure: Mr. Pfau was kind enough to donate a few small pieces for the ZRC’s Zombie Shelter, to help put Undead occupants at ease during difficult transitions in their Unlives. He asked for no compensation for this generous and humanitarian gesture.


About The Author

The role of 'Administrator' will be played tonight by John Sears, currently serving as President of The Zombie Rights Campaign.

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