Chicago artist Mike Rea’s hyper-realistic wooden replicas are built in a standard shop without the use of a CNC router. His creations are of replicated and reinvented moments of cinematic horror, science fiction, comedy and drama, most often rooted in pop culture.

Rea’s sculptures are made primarily from wood, burlap, and Styrofoam. He’s a self-professed film geek – watching up to three films a day and drawing inspiration from macho attitudes in film.

He begins with a primitive sketch inspired by a rough idea. His shop is standard, with machinery including an old, rigid contractor table saw, a Grizzly 12” bandsaw, chop saw, stationary grinder, and assorted hand tools. His pin nailer is also a major player.

As for materials, he prefers poplar because of the variety of colors it offers. He also uses standard pine 2x4s and CDX plywood. He uses epoxy resins, paste wax, milk paint, and polyurethane for finishes.

Check out his website at

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