Martin Ontiveros - Freak Syndicate
Martin Ontiveros is a city-dwelling wizard, currently working his magic in the East Bay of California. His works have been exhibited in galleries from Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Chicago, and New York to outside of the US in Barcelona, Biarritz, Mexico City and Tokyo. He has produced artwork for bands like Motörhead, Mastodon, and Rob Zombie. Vinyl toys have been produced with Gargamel, Kidrobot and Toy Art Gallery. Monsters Growling in the Background, a collection of spooky poems by various authors and fully illustrated by Martin was published in this past fall, and the end of 2022 a Magic the Gathering Secret Lair card set premiered featuring his artwork.
The Freak Syndicate is a gang of aimless weirdos, miscreants, and troublemakers with no real goals in mind other than to be general menaces to society. In fact, the only thing that really ties them together as a group is their skull belts — for most, it’s the only reason any of them join in the first place (they just think it looks cool). I was inspired by '70s and '80s Japanese superhero shows and other sci-fi series with the “freak of the week” villain trope, each getting progressively stranger from episode to episode, with a bit of medieval mythical creature design; the rest is just wherever my mind is going these days.