Faker and the Golem

 The Golem, 1915   Faker He-Man, 1982

The Golem, 1915

Faker He-Man, 1982

I was just going through some old project files and I remembered a piece that I had done that was inspired by the 1915 silent film "The Golem". In 2009, I'd been asked to participate in a Masters of the Universe themed art show in Los Angeles and I was playing around with ideas for a Faker He-Man piece. One of the things that I loved about the old He-Man cartoon was the underlying sense of mysticism. There seemed to be some dark past and cosmic power that was only hinted at in the goofy stories but sometimes it came out in the character and set designs. Wasn't Castle Grayskull actually a giant skeleton? What the hell was that about?

So, when I started thinking about Faker, the artificial robot replicant of He-Man, I started thinking about mysticism and other artificial creatures. I remembered the Golem from Jewish folklore and did some research online. One of the first things that popped up was the creature from the 1915 film "The Golem" and wouldn't you know it, he and Faker share a bowl-cut hairstyle. I knew I was on the right path.

I had also been reading "The Cosmic Serpent", anthropologist Jeremy Narby's clandestine account of learning the secrets of nature through hallucinogenic plants in the Amazon jungle. These secrets were delivered to him by twin neon snakes, cosmic serpents that appear again and again in different cultures. Well, this worked really well in the He-Man mythos. Snakes are everywhere and integral to the story of the main villain  Skeletor. So, I decided that the piece would imply that Faker predated Skeletor and was somehow connected to the Cosmic Serpents. In the final painting, Faker and baby Skeletor are flanked by two Beastmen and the snakes intertwine them.

Here are some process shots and the final piece.