Edward E. Montalvo is an artist based out of the Chicago Area. His specialty is making portraits using a soldering iron style wood burning tool, although he also uses oil and acrylic paints in his art. As a big fan of The Twilight Zone, a number of his pieces are Twilight Zone-related. In some cases, he has even gotten stars to sign the pieces. He also has over 300 autographs from Twilight Zone stars in his collection, many props from the show, and a number of other items related to the show including signed original scripts and some personal effects of the stars.
He welcomes commissioned pieces, and his client list includes stars such as Jerry Springer, Elvis Costello, Howie Long, Al Franken, and Paul Anka to name a few.
Ed has been an artist since 1999. Besides his art, Ed holds a position as Sr. Business Systems Analyst with Abbott Laboratories. He has a BS in Mechanical Engineering Technology from Purdue, and an MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management.
Ed writes about himself:
I was born in 1967, so The Twilight Zone was only in re-runs by the time I watched it. My first exposure was 1974-1975. At the time, my grandmother was dying of cancer, and she was living with my aunt about five miles from my parent’s house. My mother, my brother and I would visit grandmother several times a week. My uncle would turn on the TV to occupy us while my mom and my aunt cared for their mother, and one of the shows we watched was The Twilight Zone.
I distinctly recall watching “After Hours” and being freaked out. My father had a part time job at J.C. Penny, working in the warehouse at night. Sometimes when we picked him up from work, we had to wait in the dark store until he came out. I was scared of the mannequins thinking that they were alive like I’d seen in The Twilight Zone.
Throughout my youth, I watched The Twilight Zone and became a big fan. I’ve had some of my own Twilight Zone-type experiences, so I can really relate to it. I experienced something similar to the coin landing on its edge in “A Penny For Your Thoughts”. While working for Wrigley Gum in 1986, a coworker and I saw a stick of gum land—and stay!—on its short edge, on a moving conveyor. My whole life, I’ve encountered the strange and unusual, so of course I was attracted to The Twilight Zone.
In another Twilight Zone moment, I was on a flight from Chicago to Philadelphia, and my co-worker (Bob Filipowski) noticed a bolt sticking up at least 8”-10” above the wing near the closest engine. Bob pointed it out to me, and the rest of the flight, I felt like William Shatner in “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” — worried that the engine was going to fall off. We agreed to tell the crew about it when we landed, but when we did, the rough landing caused that bolt to fall back into place. We told the Flight Attendant what we’d seen and she assured us that she’d have someone look into it.
I also have witnessed a difference in certain objects that’s similar to “The Purple Testament”. In that episode, William Reynolds as Lt. Fitzgerald watches the faces of those who are about to die glow with light. Sometimes, when I look at an object, it seems brighter and I get the sense that there is something special about it. One time I was in a thrift store and I looked at a collection of hundreds of books. One of them looked brighter to me than the others. When I looked inside, it contained a double signed Gerald Ford and Lee Iacoca certificate. I bought the book for $1.
Twilight Zone experiences are not limited to me. Once when walking through a used book sale at the mall, my college roommate saw a bookshelf of Boy Scout Handbooks and he said “I used to have one of these.” He reached out, grabbed one of the books, and opened it up to find his name, “Anthony Price” written in it. He’d found his own book again. So again, a person like me who has these experiences is naturally attracted to the Twilight Zone.
As a fan I have a significant number of TZ-related items. A prized possession is an original Twilight Zone script of “And When the Sky Was Opened” when it was still titled “Disappearing Act.” It was signed by Gloria Pall in a couple of places. Mark Zicree told me that it was his opinion that it is a genuine original script. I have a couple of other scripts that I think are originals as well. Besides that, I have autographs from 364 Original Twilight Zone Stars in my collection including a Rod Serling cancelled check.
Individual Notes on Each Piece of Art
Jonathan Winters and Jack KlugMan in “A Game of Pool”
The first Twilight Zone piece I ever made was A Game of Pool. I waited a long time to make this piece after I conceived it, because I wanted it to be my 156th piece of art since there were 156 Twilight Zone episodes. I chose A Game of Pool as the subject for many reasons…
- I’m an excellent pool player–I have a good eye
- Jack Klugman is one of my favorite actors and Jonathan Winters is another.
- The story is set in Chicago, and I grew up in Chicago with Tim Winters as my next-door neighbor.
- Growing up in the only Hispanic family in my neighborhood, I always had to strive to be the best just to be treated as an equal. This is very similar to the Jesse Cardiff character.
Finally, I selected that particular scene of Jesse waving off Fats’s offer to let him out of the bet because I thought it was the moment of truth for Jesse. Of note, I added some personal touches to the piece:
- Chicago is one of the 4 background pictures.
- One of the other pictures is of my piece #97 Chac Mool.
- I hid an RS under the right arm of Jonathan Winters.
- I added a hidden 4-1 on Jonathan as well. On 11/11/11 I took my daughter to a Chicago Blackhawks game. On the way to the game, I told her it would end with a 4-1 win. With 2 minutes remaining, the Blackhawks were leading 2-0 and my daughter doubted my prediction, but there were 3 late goals and it ended 4-1. This happened during the time I was working on this piece and was a TZ experience, so I added it.
Don Rickles taunts Burgess Meredith in “Mr. Dingle the Strong”. I watched the episode and took pictures using a tripod of the paused DVD. I considered some shots where Don was arguing, but he looked too mean. Ultimately I decided that I wanted one where Don was smiling and Burgess’ face was visible.
I selected the shot seconds before Mr. Dingle smashes Don’s cigar in his face, and I omitted the other actors that were in the background of this shot. I hid an “Ed” on Don’s arm, his chest, and a faint one in Burgess’ hat. Don returned my portrait signed quickly, and sent me a great personalized photo. He also returned all of the money I sent him. Great guy.
Fritz Weaver in “Third From the Sun”
I did Fritz Weaver because I have the phone that he is holding in my collection of props. My requests to Fritz to get it signed have gone unanswered so the piece and phone remain in my collection unsigned.
I hid a couple of “Eds” in his hair, and one just under the phone. Where to put them just seems to come naturally. You’d be surprised how often an “E” appears in nature. So it’s easy to just add a “d” to it when I notice them.
Jason Wingreen played the Conductor in “A Stop at Willoughby”. He was in 3 different episodes: Willoughby, “The Bard”, and “The Midnight Sun”. I decided on this scene from “A Stop at Willoughby” because I commuted on a similar train for about a year.
I hid an “Ed” on the Seat between Jason’s first and second button and another one on the seat between Jason’s second and Third button. I also hid an “Ed” on Jason’s sleeve, and an “Eddy” in the window of the row behind James Daly.
Julie Newmar in “Of Late I Dream of Cliffordville”
I did two pieces of Julie Newmar just before she appeared at the C2E2 convention in Chicago for a Batman reunion. I’ve always felt a strong connection to her because I have the same birthday (August 16 ) as Julie.
The odd-shaped piece was done on a piece of wood I bought at a thrift store. I wasn’t too happy with the face of it because it was a little too small to make a perfect likeness, so I decided to make a second one where my ability to make a great likeness would be on display. I hid an “Ed” in her hair in the piece below and hid an “Ed” right by the horn in the one above.
June Foray voiced Talky Tina in the episode “Living Doll”. I printed several 8×10’s from the episode as I decided which one to burn. I selected one where Talky Tina is being thrown into the trash because the ridges of the trash can were a perfect match for a tray I’d purchased at a thrift store that has ridges.
I buy quite a lot of wooden items from thrift stores if I think I can make something cool with them. I like to have one-of-a-kind items in my collection so when I saw that tray in the store, I bought it because I thought I might be able to use it someday and it would definitely be a unique portrait. I hid a two-toned “ED” near Tina’s left arm.
I chose this image of Nehemiah Persoff from “Judgement Night” because it was when he saw himself on the submarine. It’s the moment of truth for him. I hid an “Ed” on both arms. I have a handwritten note from Nehemiah, along with the signature on my art.
Hazel Court and Peter Mark Richman in “The Fear”. I watched the episode and took pictures using a tripod of the paused DVD. I considered just doing a portrait of Peter (he had some great expressions) as he confronted Hazel, but ultimately, I thought the image of them peering through the window of the small ship was a better representation of the whole episode. I hid an “Ed” on the back of the left Alien Spaceman.
Both of these pieces are scenes from The Last Rites of Jeff Myrtlebank”. I hid an “Ed” on James Best’s knee in the casket, and and an “Ed M” just below James’ arm in the other.
Vera Miles in “Mirror Image”
I bought a list of stars’ addresses, and about 25 of them are living Twilight Zone stars. At my son’s suggestion, I started working my way through the list of stars. Vera Miles was first because my son is a fan of Psycho so we sent her a bunch of Twilight Zone and Psycho Items. I hid an “Ed” in her Hair.
I did William Shatner because he was appearing at the 2012 Chicago Comic Convention, the first convention I ever attended. I decided to do a piece where he is looking out the window of “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” and seeing himself in the “Nick of Time” episode.
The face of the gremlin absolutely has no woodburning whatsoever. It is entirely natural!! I planned the design in order to take advantage of this feature that I’d noticed in the wood before I even made the piece. I had to scrap a little bit extra wood so that it would appear in just the right place, but I felt it was almost destined to be so I made it happen.
I hid many many images. Some major ones:
- Shatner and EEM in the fur of the Gremlin.
- EEM on the Machine and in the napkins.
- Devil head on the back of Shatner on “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet”.
- A rabbit because I saw a rabbit giving birth on the side of my house while I was burning this piece.
- Many others.