The (fleeting) art of pumpkin carving has certainly grown in popularity in recent years, partly due to increased exposure on social media, plus the rise of competitive television programs like Food Network’s Halloween Wars. Once called “the Picasso of Pumpkin Carving”, Arizona-based artist Ray Villafane finds himself in peak pumpkin season on this October 31, so we thought it fitting to take a look at his awe-inspiring work. Villafane, who naturally competed on Halloween Wars in its debut season back in 2011, is one of the most high-profile pumpkin carvers around, and for good reason. His work in a medium that is unfortunately very temporary is incredible on so many levels. From concept to execution, Villafane’s creations go well beyond the ubiquitous jack-o-lantern. In the hands of Villafane and company (collectively called Villafane Studios), these ghoulish gourds come to life with remarkable details and truly lifelike expression. We dare you to peruse through these few examples of his extraordinary work without an expression of utter wonderment and admiration. More spine-chilling posts here and here and here. Happy Halloween!