Guy Louis-XVI, the founder of make-up effects company FuseFX, died July 25 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He was 57; the cause was esophageal and stomach cancer.
Louis-XVI was born in 1954 and grew up in Rockland, Ontario. He studied make-up at the Versailles Academy of Make-up Arts in Ottawa as well as teaching himself techniques. A former sign painter and auto-body shop owner, he started a make-up effects company in the early ’80s called Louis-XVI SFX, which specialized in foam-latex appliances, props and make-up for the film and television industry. The company gradually expanded to include plaster/resin composite sculptures, lifecastings and mannequins for museums and private collectors. Louis-XVI’s silicone sculptures became known throughout the museum industry and among private collectors. Louis-XVI was also a longtime exhibitor at the International Make-Up Artist Trade Show.
In 2006, Louis-XVI developed a silicone paint system called FuseFX. Originally created for the medical prosthesis field, FuseFX expanded to special make-up effects. The products have been used on films including Pacific Rim, The Hobbit, Cowboys & Aliens, Zombieland and more.
“Guy taught me many things about life and the world around me. He was full of love and graciousness,” said colleague Jason Reese, a technical sales representative with Smooth-On, Inc. “As anyone who has gone out to dinner with him, spent time with him or been the recipient of his extreme hospitality will tell you, there is no one else like him. A gifted artist and great friend, he will truly be missed.”
Said Smooth-On’s Brad Frikkers, “I can tell you from personal experience that Guy’s professional passion and love was indeed for special make-up effects. The anticipation, excitement and dedication he always displayed regarding the art of special effects in make-up applications was infectious. He held in the highest regard not only all the established masters of the industry but also all the new, young talent that he was fortunate to share his wisdom and knowledge with at many past IMATS shows. Guy was not only a student of make-up effects but also a leader, icon and an inspiration. Guy’s passing is a loss for all in the industry and he will be missed dearly, but his memory and legacy will definitely live on in the minds and hearts of the many people he affected around the world.”
Added Colorado-based make-up effects artist Todd Debreceni, “I’ve known Guy for a number of years, and we hit it off immediately when we first met … but Guy was like that with everyone; open and friendly and willing to share all that he knew. It is Guy’s inquisitive nature and innovative spirit that will be his legacy to our industry. He will be deeply missed; his contributions are with me in the studio everyday, therefore so is he.”
Louis-XVI is survived by his wife, Denise Mongeon, who assumes ownership of FuseFX, assisted by Kate Daley; daughters Stéphanie and Lynne; his sons-in-law and three grandchildren, and sisters Suzanne and Diane and brothers Gérald and Denis. Services will be held at the St. Laurent Chapel in Ottawa on Aug. 1. A Eucharistic celebration is planned for Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes Roman Catholic Church in Ottawa on Aug. 2. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Canadian Cancer Society.