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Your designs will make those buildings special. We've got 40 families ready to move in. Forty families, John. Low-income families. You can't just walk away. You're their savior, John.
— Art tries to convince John to continue his work for the Urban Renewal Group[src]

Art Blank is a fictional character from the Saw franchise as well as the tertiary antagonist of Saw IV.

He was portrayed by Justin Louis.

Biography

Early Life

Gideon paper

An article about the Urban Renewal Group

Art Blank was a criminal defense lawyer as well as a friend of John Kramer, founder of the Urban Renewal Group, a foundation dedicated to property development for low-income people under the motto "Four walls build a home." As his friend, Art supported the group and became John's partner. However, despite this social commitment, Art's work also had a less honorable side, as he defended criminals like Brenda, a pimp, and Ivan Landsness, a motel proprietor who raped and physically abused at least three women. Thereby, he prevented them from facing justice even though they were guilty of the crimes they were accused of.

ArtMain

Art in Hoffman's office

Another one of his clients was Rex, a man accused of physically abusing and violating his daughter, Jane. After his interrogation by Detective Mark Hoffman in the principal's office of Jane's school, Hoffman's partner, Officer Daniel Rigg, attacked Rex and, thereby, broke his nose and cheekbone. Hoffman then had to pull him back and calm him down. Following the incident, Rex tried to sue Rigg for the assault with the assistance of Art. During a discussion in Hoffman's office at the police station, Art demanded that Rigg had to be suspended from office. Hoffman, however, made an incorrect statutory declaration, causing the charges to get dismissed. This incident didn't further endanger Rigg's career. Art, on the other hand, was successfully able to defend Rex in his case of child abuse. (Saw IV)

Gideon Kramer

Art Blank

Art talks to John

At some point, the life of his friend and partner, John, changed dramatically when his wife, Jill Tuck, was injured by Cecil Adams, one of her patients at her recovery clinic for drug addicts. Thereby, she lost her and John's unborn son, Gideon, due to a miscarriage. Following Gideon's death, John suffered from severe depression, causing him to withdraw from both his wife and the Urban Renewal Group. Therefore, Art, asked Jill about his whereabouts. As Jill didn't know where he was, they became worried, and she helped Art to search him. Ultimately, they went to John's workshop. Initially thinking he wasn't there, Jill eventually spotted him, sitting on a chair in a corner, and asked him not to get mad at her for bringing Art to the workshop. Art then asked him how he felt and condoled over Gideon's death. However, he also tried to convince John to continue his work for the Urban Renewal Group as 40 low-income families were waiting to move in the houses that John had been working on. John, however, who was annoyed and angered by Art's visit, told his partner to leave immediately. After initially refusing to do so, Art eventually left and told John to call him once he felt better. (Saw IV)

The Jigsaw Case

Following his son's death and his diagnosis with an inoperable brain tumor, John decided to spend the last remaining time of his life on testing other peoples' will to live, hoping that this would convince them to value their lives and the lives of those around them. Thereby, he became known to the public as the Jigsaw Killer as he put his victims in deadly traps and let them fight for their survival. After his series of murders went on for over a year, John eventually revealed his true identity to the police but was able to elude custody and went into hiding. Upon this revelation, the police began to examine John's past. While doing so, they also searched the house of Jill Tuck, who was treated as a suspect as well. Among her possessions, they found a small wooden ventriloquist puppet that John had crafted for Gideon. This toy resembled a more sinister, mechanical version of a doll, which John occasionally used to communicate with his victims. Furthermore, they found a red tricycle, similar to the one used by the puppet. During Jill's interrogations at the police station, Detective Mark Hoffman asked her about these finds. Hoffman, however, was actually an accomplice of Jigsaw himself. To cover the fact that they knew about each other and their connection to John, Jill refused to give him any useful information and instead called her lawyer, Art Blank. (Saw II, Saw IV)

Abduction

Six months after the revelation of John's identity, Art himself eventually became a target of Jigsaw. One day, he was subdued, abducted, and taken to an unknown location. While he was unconscious, Dr. Lawrence Gordon, John's doctor and another one of his accomplices, sew his mouth shut to prepare him for a dangerous game. Afterward, Art was taken to a mausoleum along with another victim, Trevor. Both of them were shackled by their necks and chained to a winch. That winch was part of a large metal contraption in the center of the mausoleum. (Saw IV, Saw 3D)

First Test

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Art wakes up in the trap

Shortly afterward, Trevor woke up and was immediately frightened when he realized that his eyes were sewn shut. When he felt the chain connected to the shackle around his neck, he carefully pulled on it and, thereby, awoke Art Blank. Upon hearing the noises coming from him, Trevor asked who he was and told him to talk to him. However, Art wasn't able to do so as Dr. Gordon had sewn his mouth shut instead of his eyes. Art continued to produce muffled noises in attempts to speak, which caused Trevor to panic. Therefore, he stumbled over a wooden crate filled with metallic tools, such as a hammer and a small ax. Frantic for a response, he threw the tools in Art's direction while yelling at him. While desperately trying to calm him down, Art suddenly noticed a key attached to the back of Trevor's shackle. He tried to find a way to communicate with him, but Trevor suddenly pulled him in his direction with the chain.

TrevorArtStruggle

Art and Trevor fight for the key

Thereby, a metal pin was pulled out of the contraption in the middle, activating the winch in the process. As the winch began to drag the men to the center of the room, Trevor screamed for help and panicked even further. Eventually, he grabbed a hook and began to swing it around blindly. Art calmly approached him, armed with the ax Trevor had previously thrown in his direction. When he saw the right opportunity, he pulled Trevor back to get the key but collapsed when Trevor ran the hook in his knee. While Art lay on the ground, writhing in pain, Trevor attempted to crawl away, but moments later, Art pulled out the hook from his leg and ran it in Trevor's shoulder, causing him to scream. Thereby, he was able to obtain the key, but Trevor was able to fight him off with the ax.
ArtMouthStitches

Art rips his mouth open

When Trevor attacked him again, Art kicked him in the face. However, as he was ridden by adrenaline, Trevor quickly braced himself up again. As he tried to kill Art, the latter finally grabbed a hammer and bludgeoned Trevor's skull by smashing it four times, ultimately killing him in the process. After Art freed himself from his shackle, he screamed in agony, thereby ripping open the sews. Following his survival, he found a file lying on a wooden crate on his side of the room, along with a tape recorder. The tape congratulated him for his survival and provided him with the instructions for another game. (Saw IV)

Second Test

Following his survival at the mausoleum, Art's wounded cheek was stitched up, and he was forced to wear one of Jigsaw's vicious devices on his back, which would cut his spine if he refused to obey his orders. Within the next two weeks, he was forced to prepare a game for Jigsaw, which would focus on several of his clients as well as Officer Daniel Rigg. Therefore, Art built a trap designed for Brenda. Six days before the game began, he rented a room at the run-down Alexander Motel, which was owned by Ivan Landsness. During his stay at the motel, he smuggled several components into the room one by one and used them to set up another trap for Ivan.

When the time for the game had finally come, Art abducted his former client, Rex, and his wife, Morgan, who had been violently abused by her husband for years. At night, he took them to one of the classrooms at the elementary school, where the police once interrogated them. Upon their arrival, Art put a leather harness on them and chained them back to back to a metal column in the middle of the room. After that, he used a device, which worked similar to a nail gun, and shot eight thin, long metal spikes through their bodies. While Morgan only received severe flesh wounds, Rex was mortally wounded as the spikes had pierced his major arteries. Then, Art chained a tape recorder to Morgan's wrist, which contained the instructions for her test. Additionally, he positioned a chart depicting the human body in front of Morgan and a wooden chart with the words "Her life is in her hands" in front of Rex. He also hung up numerous X-rays of the broken bones and injuries Morgan had received from Rex in the past.

Having finished the preparations, Art went on and also set up a test for Officer Rigg, who was planned to arrive at the school shortly after Morgan's game was over. For him, he set up a timer, put a second tape recorder on a table, and placed a box with a photo of Tracy, Rigg's wife, behind the body chart. After that, he wrote the words "Save As I Save" on the blackboard and finally left the building.

Art and Rigg

Art attacks Rigg in his apartment

When he was done, Art abducted Brenda. He invaded Rigg's apartment and attracted his attention by turning the light in the hallway on and off. Initially thinking that Tracy had returned after they had a dispute earlier that day, Rigg called for her. However, he realized that something was wrong when instead of a response, he saw someone scurrying through the hallway. Rigg carefully went into the direction where he had seen the mysterious figure but was attacked and subdued by Art. After sedating him, Art took his unconscious body to the bathroom and placed him in the bathtub with the showerhead running. Then, he destroyed his phone and positioned a TV in front of the bathroom door with a videotape that would start once Rigg left the bathroom and would provide him his instructions.

After that, Art prepared Rigg's first test in the living room. He set up the trap built for Brenda in the middle of the room and chained her to it. Additionally, he placed another TV in front of her, set up another timer, and placed numerous photos of the victims involved in the game all around the room. Then, he removed all the knives from the drawer in the kitchen and put one knife inside a small shelf underneath the TV in the living room. Shortly afterward, Brenda woke up, and he told her that the combination to unlock her trap was written in the trap's gears. Finally, he placed a small box in the apartment's hallway, which contained a written message from Jigsaw and two keys, one of which was for his room at the Alexander Motel. Having finished all of his preparations, Art left the apartment. (Saw IV)

ArtGideon

Art arrives at the plant

Shortly after Rigg's game began, Art arrived at the abandoned Gideon Meatpacking Plant, John's very first building, which now served as the latter's hideout. Inside the building, Art found a room with a giant scale in the center. Standing on one of the scale pans was Eric Matthews, a corrupt detective who had been missing for the past six months. He stood on a large ice block and was held in place by a chain noose around his neck. Around him were several radiant heaters, which caused the ice to melt slowly. On the other side of the scale was Detective Mark Hoffman, who was, in fact, an accomplice of Jigsaw and had strapped himself to a nonfunctional electric chair, acting as another victim. The water from the ice block would eventually flow to Hoffman's side, seemingly causing him to get killed by an electric shock. Upon entering the trap room, Art pulled a lever next to the door and, thereby, activated a mechanism above Eric Matthews' head. Mark Hoffman angrily yelled at him and demanded him to let them go. However, Art ignored them and instead sat down in front of a set of surveillance monitors to observe Jigsaw's games.

At some point after the beginning of Rigg's series of tests, Eric told Art to fuck himself and intended to commit suicide. Therefore, he tried to hang himself with the chain noose around his neck by jumping off the ice block. Art, however, saved him and placed him back on the ice. When he revealed to him that Hoffman would be electrocuted if Eric left the block, Hoffman begged Eric to listen to him. Eric insulted the man but stayed on the block when the latter went back to the monitors.

Eric and Art

Art prevents Eric from suicide

As the game progressed, Eric begged Art to shoot him as he didn't want to play the game any longer. Therefore, Hoffman angrily yelled at him and told him to be quiet. Later on, Eric pretended to be unconscious. When Hoffman asked Art to take a look at him, Art became worried and tried to wake Eric up. Eric then attacked him and once again fell off the ice block in the process. While struggling with him, Art forced him back on the block and told him that he wasn't the one that Eric should worry about. Furthermore, he informed them that all of them were going to be free if Rigg passed his test, and thereby revealed that he was merely another victim on his own. Following the instructions Jigsaw provided for him sometime earlier, Art gave Eric a gun and a bullet and told him that he had to choose whether he wanted to live or to die.

Spine Cutter

Art reveals his trap

At some point, however, Art started to become nervous when he noticed the mechanism above Eric's head. This mechanism was connected to two mechanical arms suspended from the ceiling, with each one holding a large ice block. When he saw a chain, which linked the mechanism to the door of the room, Art realized that the ice blocks would swing down and crush Eric's head if the door was opened before a 90-minute timer went off. Therefore, they had to prevent Rigg, who was on his way to the plant, from entering the room. As the timer was ticking down, Art, Hoffman, and Eric started to panic. Eric yelled at Art and demanded him to tell them who was coming. However, Art ignored them and just kept his eye on the surveillance monitors. When he took off his jacket, he finally revealed the trap attached to his back. Furthermore, he took out a button and told the detectives that it would free them once the timer went off. (Saw IV)

Death

ArtHeadshot

Art is shot by Daniel Rigg

Only minutes later, Officer Rigg finally arrived at the Gideon Meatpacking Plant and reached the room where his friends were trapped. Eric yelled at him not to open the door. Ignoring his warning, Rigg burst through the door with only one second left on the clock and was shot in the chest by Eric in a final attempt to keep him from entering. When he opened the door, Art approached him and was, therefore, shot in the chest by Rigg, causing him to collapse. Moments later, Eric's head was smashed by the massive ice blocks, causing Rigg to fall to the floor, screaming in grief and agony. He angrily yelled at Art as he thought him to be Jigsaw's accomplice. Art tried to explain that he was tested by Jigsaw, and went to reach for his bag, causing Rigg, who thought that Art was grabbing a weapon, to shoot him in the head. (Saw IV)

Post-Mortem

However, it turned out that there was no weapon, and Art was actually grabbing a tape recorder. Upon listening to the recording, Rigg realized that his test wasn't to save Eric but to let Eric save himself. Moments later, Hoffman freed himself from his trap and calmly approached Rigg, thus bringing Rigg to the realization that Hoffman was Jigsaw's accomplice. However, due to his gunshot wound, Rigg collapsed as Hoffman left the room. He turned around one last time and ended Rigg's game with the words "Game Over" before he disappeared and left Rigg for dead. Shortly after that, Rigg succumbed to his gunshot wound. (Saw IV)

The Metropolitan Police Department found and raided the meatpacking plant shortly afterward. As the police secured and searched the entire building, they discovered the many corpses of Jigsaw's victims, including Art. All of them were sent to the morgue, where Dr. Adam Heffner performed the autopsies on their bodies. (Saw V, Saw VI)

Personality

Art Blank was an intelligent man, smart enough to successfully defend dangerous criminals and even repeat offenders even though they were guilty of the crimes they were accused of. Towards others, who opposed him or his clients, he often acted condescendingly and spoke down to them. Even when put under immense pressure, Art was able to keep calm for much longer than other people. Despite his rather dishonorable acts throughout his career as a criminal defense lawyer, he appeared to be socially-engaged in the eyes of the public due to his work with John Kramer and the Urban Renewal Group.

Trivia

  • Art shared some similarities with Zep Hindle as both were forced to help Jigsaw against their will. Both characters appeared to be the main antagonists of their respective films for the most time until the truth about their tests was revealed. Additionally, both of them were killed by one of the main protagonists during the final moments of each film.
  • Art was also mentioned in the video game Saw II: Flesh & Blood.
    • Due to the contradicting timelines of the films and video games, it's unknown if Art suffered the same fate in the video games.

Appearances and References

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