(October 5, 1952 - living) U.K.
Novelist, artist, filmmaker
"People regularly say to me, 'What kind of drugs do you do to write these kinds of books?' And I quote Salvador Dali, who said, 'I'm a drug. Take me.'"
- Clive Barker
Executive Producer Clive Barker, who also created the original story idea for Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh, was born near Penny Lane, Liverpool. A surrealist with words, Barker explains, "Even today I keep a Dream Journal. It's whatever is going on in my subconscious, or things from dreams or even interesting items that pop into my head. I have thousands of pages of notes which I hope someday will turn into stories, or movies."
Trained as a painter in Liverpool, where he resided until he turned twenty-one, Barker still loves to paint and draw. "I paint five nights a week and wouldn't think of giving it up." Many of his paintings (which are done on huge canvasses) are of strange and bizarre people. "An image, on the other hand, can be made on a page within ten seconds if you so choose, and occasionally when I'm illustrating, when I'm doing a book signing, when I'm doing a sketch, I am producing something in ten or twenty seconds. And that is the item.
That is the finished item ... Its lovely to be able to go home and produce within a couple of hours a handful of drawings which maybe only I'll see, but which at least are finished, and of themselves." After studying painting and drawing, he moved on to English and philosophy classes at Liverpool University, which enhanced his future writing career.
He moved to London, and there, Barker formed a theater company and began his career in the arts, performing plays that he had written. He worked in that medium throughout his twenties as a writer, director and actor. Many of these early plays contained the fantastic erotic and horrific elements. They include The History of the Devil, Frankenstein in Love, Subtle Bodies, The Secret Life of Cartoons and a play about his favorite painter, Goya, entitled Colossus.
While starving for his art, he began writing horror short stories in his spare time, not expecting them to be marketable. The first publisher who read them, however, asked for more, and in 1984 they were published, in three volumes as The Books of Blood. Three more books followed, and by this point, many of his works were finding their way into translation, and now appear in over a dozen languages. Barker managed to spice up the old way of horror with sexuality and surreal violence, as he had with his plays. "If somebody was to say, 'what's my purest fix,' I would say the purest fix would be painting because I make those in a kind of a raw, almost unconscious state."
"One of the things you want to be able to do as an artist is create the sense of mystery. You want to be able to exquisitely express what is expressible - I mean that's part of what you want to do - but at the same time, you want to veil the thing, the expression, in such a way that you never allow the viewer to completely 'get it.'"
In 1987, following the film adaptations of two of his stories, Rawhead Rex and Transmutations, he decided to direct something himself. The result was Hellraiser, based on a novella called The Hellbound Heart. A large cult following of the movie encouraged three sequels, Hellraiser 2: Hellbound, Hellraiser 3: Hell on Earth, and Hellraiser 4: Bloodlines, as well as a line of comic books, plastic models and a several other related items.
- Clive Barker
In reference to the origin of Pinhead, (the lead cenobite of the Hellraiser films,) Barker states that, "Pinhead appeared in a dream. I drew him, gave the drawing to the special effects man, and they transformed Doug Bradley, who plays the part, into the very image of what I had seen in my dream." Barker fashioned his short story Cabal into the film Nightbreed, which he directed, prompting the appearance of a series of Nightbreed comic books published by Marvel Comics.
Since the release of his novels Weaveworld and The Great and Secret Show, several Barker-related publications have appeared. (A comic series called Tapping the Vein and a large format book covering his art work called Clive Barker: Illustrator.)
Further comic book titles have also appeared - The Harrowers, Barkerverse and Razorline, an imprint created by Marvel Comics solely for Clive Barker Comic Books. His novel Imajica was published in 1991 and was followed by a fable for children and adults called The Thief of Always, which is soon to be an animated film.
He has recently completed a sequel to The Great and Secret Show entitled Everville, both novels centered around Quiddity, the dream sea, the name meaning essence. "I'm using it in The Art Books to mean a place of Absolute significance. The place, in a sense, where we are most human, most truthful: our dreams."
In addition to his story writing talent, Clive Barker's talents as an accomplished painter allowed him to film Lord of Illusions almost exclusively from storyboards. Barker also completed a highly successful run at the Bess Culter Gallery in New York, where he had his first one-man art exhibition.
Clive Barker's artistic talent is not only expressed through painting, but his artistic talent is also well rooted in his writing. His creativity extends from within, based heavily on dreams, and makes its way to paper in whatever medium best suits the piece. When asked about his childhood by In Step Magazine, Barker comments, "Given a crayon and paper, I would not draw a train or a house. I would draw these monsters, beasts and demons.">
- Salome (1973)
- The Forbidden (1978)
- Hellraiser (1987)
- Nightbreed (1990)
- Hellraiser III (1992)
- Candyman (1992)
- Lord of Illusions (1995)
- Candyman II (1996)
- Hellraiser: Bloodline (1995)
- Gods and Monsters (1998)
- Saint sinner (2002)
- The damnation game (1985)
- Weaveworld (1987)
- The great and secret show (1989)
- Imajica (1991)
- The thief of always (1992)
- Everville (1994)
- Sacrament (1996)
- Galilee (1998)
- Coldheart Canyon (2001)
- Abarat (2002)
- Frankenstein in love
- The history of the devil
- Paradise Street
- Subtle bodies