King Kong ("Kongfrontation")
Airbrushed Acrylic on Illustration Board
The King Kong pieces were quite possibly the most iconic pieces from my childhood. Universal Studios' flagship attraction was their Studio Backlot Tour, and in 1986 they added one of the most impressive (and groundbreaking) experiences on this tour. The tram would pull into a soundstage, where you were instantly transported to New York City in the evening, with chaos all around. A 30 foot (head and shoulders only) animatronic King Kong was attacking the Brooklyn Bridge, with the tram still on it, as NYPD and news choppers flying overheard, the latter of which came crashing down and exploding right next to the tram.
It was an incredible sight loaded with fun detail, even down to giving King Kong banana scented breath that you could smell from the tram as you got close to him!
About the Art...
This piece was for the poster advertisements to promote the new attraction, as well as posters for sale at Universal Studios. This was one that hung in my room during my childhood. I always would stare at his fingernails, the marble and the etched words, and the saliva on his teeth. I also always loved the hat that's falling down, but always wondered whose it was. It doesn't seem to fit any of the riders' style.
Once again, Dad's primary cameo look is found in this piece. Whenever he would work himself into a painting, whenever he could he would give himself a red Nebraska Cornhuskers hat, usually with a white "N" on it when the angle was right, like in this shot. Kacey and I are to the left in the rear of the tram, my brother is in the green shirt, Mom is in blue, and Dad's art director for this job, Tom Guttman, is actually in their twice, with his name being seen on the back of his red jacket.
Click the image below for the other Kongfrontation piece.