Mark Garbarino, an American born in the 1960s, has succeeded through a 30-year career as a creator of sculptures, creature suits, puppets and prosthetic make-ups. After completing a bachelor degree in fine art at the University of South Florida, the Philadelphia suburb, Pennsylvania born, Garbarino moved to New York City in 1983.
Early job adventures were performance art and sculptural displays at club AREA, a sculptor for the 1980s painter Kenny Scharf. After moving to Los Angeles in 1987, Garbarino began specializing in special make-up effects, contributing puppets for such films as The Abyss, Nightmare on Elm Streets, Hot Shots 2, Virus, Hellraiser 4, and Bicentennial Man. His make-ups have appeared on Madonna and Busta Rhymes in music videos, and Jim Carry in print work.
In the 1990s, as special make-up effects coordinator, the team won Emmy Awards for the television series Babylon 5 and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Individual Emmy nominations were honored in 1997 for Babylon 5, outstanding make-up for a series, and again in 2003 for prosthetics on Six Feet Under. Nominated in 2002 for the Local 706 Hair and Make-Up Awards, best prosthetics, transforming John Voight into Howard Cosell for ALI. Film make-ups highlights include character makeups seen in The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials, JJ Abraham's Star Trek 1 (Corporate Head Quarters) and Startrek 2, Pirates of the Caribbean 1&5, The Nutty Professor 2, Pearl Harbor, Artificial Intelligence, and Ali. China films include Kung Fu Killer, Jackie Chan's age makeup in Forbidden Kingdom, Home Sweet Home (Karina Lam), Running on Karma and Kiddult, staring Andy Lau Tak-wa, Fearless, The Mad Detective, Warlords, Three Kingdoms Bodyguards and Assassins, Special ID, The Monkey King staring Donnie Yen. Three of these films were awarded Golden Lion Awards for best Costume/ Makeup. Garbarino also once taught a special effects make-up course at the Shanghai Theater Academy in November of 2004.
Continuing to maintain his base in Los Angeles, Funhouse also has a cooperation with a studio in Beijing.