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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 in 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 needy 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 their were guilty of the crimes they were accused of.

ArtMain

Art in Hoffman's office

Another one of his clients was Rex, an abusive teacher who was accused of the physical abuse and violation of his daughter, Jane. After an interrogation about the accusations 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 angrily told him to leave immediately. 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, he demanded that Rigg had to be suspended from office. Hoffman however made an incorrect statutory declaration, causing the charges to get dismissed. Rigg's career wasn't further endangered by this incident. 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, and thereby 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, his partner and lawyer, Art Blank, asked Jill about his whereabouts. As Jill didn't know where he was, they became worried and she helped Art to search him. Eventually, they went to John's workshop. Initially thinking he wasn't there, she ultimately 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 needy families were waiting to soon move to the houses John and Art had been working on. John however, who was annoyed and angered by his visit, told Art to leave immediately. After initially refusing, 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 eventually found a new purpose in life and decided to spend his last remaining days on testing other peoples' will to live by putting them in deadly traps, thereby becoming known to the public as the Jigsaw Killer. 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 the reveal of John's identity, the police began to examine John's past. Therefore, they also searched the house of Jill Tuck, who was treated as a suspect as well. Upon doing so, they found the small wooden ventriloquist puppet John had crafted for Gideon, which resembled a more mechanical version of the puppet which John occasionally used to communicate with his victims. Furthermore, they found a red tricycle, similar to the one used by the puppet. During her interrogation at the police station, Detective Mark Hoffman asked her about these finds. Hoffman however was in fact another apprentice of Jigsaw on his own. 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, IV)

Abduction

Six months after the reveal of John's identity, Art eventually became a target of Jigsaw himself. Therefore, 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 apprentices, sew his mouth shut in order to prepare him for a dangerous game. Afterwards, Art was taken to a mausoleum along with another victim, Trevor. Both of them were shackled by their necks and chained to a winch, which was part of a large metal contraption in the center of the mausoleum. (Saw IV, 3D)

First Test

ArtMausoleum

Art wakes up in the trap

Shortly afterwards, Trevor woke up and was immediately frightened when he realized that his eyes were sewn shut. When he noticed the chain connecten to the shackle around his neck, he carefully pulled on it and thereby awoke Art Blank. Upon hearing 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. As he didn't answer and only made strange sounds in his attempts to speak, Trevor started to panic. Thereby, he stumbled over a wooden crate filled with metallic tools, such as a hammer and a small axe. Frightened by the situation, he threw the tools in Art's direction yelled at him in fear. While desperately trying to calm him down, Art suddenly noticed a key attached to the back of Trevor's shackle.
TrevorArtStruggle

Art and Trevor fight for the key

He tried to find a way to communicate with him, but Trevor suddenly pulled him in his direction with the chain. Thereby, a metal pin was pulled out of the contraption in the middle, finally activating the machine and starting the winch in the process. As the winch began to pull them to the middle, 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 axe 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 axe. When Trevor attacked him again, Art kicked him in the face.
ArtMouthStitches

Art rips his mouth open

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 that, Art freed himself from his shackle and screamed, thereby ripping open his mouth. When his game was over, 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 Officer Daniel Rigg and several of his own clients. Therefore, he 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 the time of 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 of the game had finally come, Art abducted his former client, Rex, and his wife, Morgan, who had been violently abused by him over the years as well, at night and took them to one of the classroom at the elementary school. After that, he put a leather harness on them an chained them back to back to a metal column in the middle of the room. Then, Art used a dangerous device, which worked similar to a nailgun, and shot eight long, thin metal spikes through their bodies. While Morgan only received severe flesh wounds, Rex was mortally wounded as the spikes had pierced his major arteries. After that, Art chained a tape recorder to Morgan's wrist which contained the instructions for her test. Additionally, he positioned a chart of the human body in front of Morgan and a wooden chart with the words "Her life is in her hands" in front of Rex and 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 test. Therefore, he set up a timer, placed a second tape recorder for him 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. After that, he invaded the apartment of Officer Rigg and attracted his attention by turning the light in the hallway on and off. Initially thinking that Tracy had returned to give him a final chance after they had a dispute earlier that day, Rigg called for her, but realized that something was wrong when he received no response, but saw someone scurrying through the hallway. Rigg carefully went into the direction where he had seen the mysterious figure, but was eventually attacked and subdued by Art Blank. After sedating him, Art took his unconscious body to the bathroom and placed him in the bathtub. Then, he destroyed the phone and positioned a TV in front of the bathroom door with a video tape that would start once Rigg left the bathroom and would then provide him his instructions. After that, he prepared Rigg's first test in the living room. Therefore, 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 placed one knife in a small shelf underneath the TV in the living room. Shortly afterwards, Brenda woke up and he told her that the combination to the lock of 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 the room with the trap 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 his hideout. There, he found a room with a large scale in the center of the room. On one side of it was Detective Eric Matthews, 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 Hoffman, who had strapped himself to an electric chair, which was actually without function, and acted as another victim. Apparently, the water from the ice block would eventually flow to his side of the scale, causing him to get killed by an electric shock. Upon entering the trap room, Art pulled a lever next to the door which activated a mechanism above Eric Matthew's 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 the surveillance monitors in order to observe Jigsaw's games. At some point after the beginning of Rigg's series of tests, Eric told Art to fuck himself and attempted to commit suicide. Therefore he tried to hang himself with the chain noose around his neck by jumping off the ice block. However Art saved him and placed him back on the block. 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 he went back to the monitors.

Eric and Art

Art prevents Eric from suicide

However 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 told Art to take a look at him, Art became worried and tried to wake Eric up. Eric then attacked him and therefore fell off the ice block again. 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 told them that all of them were going to be free if Rigg passed his test, revealing that he was merely another victim on his own. Following the instructions Jigsaw provided for him some time earlier, Art gave Eric a gun and a bullet and told him that he had the choice if he wanted to live or to die.

Spine Cutter

Art reveals his trap

At some point however Art started to become nervous when he saw the mechanism above Eric's head. This mechanism was connected to two large ice blocks attached to mechanical arms suspended from the ceiling. When he saw the chain which connected the mechanism with the door of the room, Art realized that the ice blocks would swing down and therefore 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 already, from entering the room before the clock expired. 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 revealed the trap attached to his body. Furthermore he took out a button and told the detectives that it would free them once the time 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 the process, as 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 collaps. Moments later, Eric's head was smashed by two large ice blocks swinging down from the ceiling, 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. However, it turned out that there was no weapon and Art was actually attempting to grab an audio tape. Upon listening to the recording, Rigg finally 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 to the floor as Hoffman escaped. 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 thereafter, Rigg succumbed to his gunshot wound. (Saw IV)

Post-Mortem

Shortly afterwards, the meatpacking plant was found and raided by the Metropolitan Police Department. 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 for their obduction by Dr. Adam Heffner. (Saw V, VI)

Personality

Art Blank was an intelligent man, smart enough to successfully defend dangerous criminals and even repeat offenders even though they were obviously guilty of the crimes they were accused of. Towards others, who opposed him or his clients, he often acted in a condescending way and spoke down to them. Even in situations when put under immense pressure, he was able 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.

Non-Canon Appearances

Saw II: Flesh & Blood

Art was briefly mentioned in case files found in the videogame Saw II: Flesh & Blood. In these documents, Detective David Tapp, the former lead investigator on the Jigsaw Case at that point, wrote about a foundation named "Gideon", which was the videogame's pendant to the Urban Renewal Group, and thereby mentioned Art Blank. He also mentioned that John and Art had another partner, Solomon Bates, who worked as the foundation's accountant.

Triva

  • Art shares similarities to Zep Hindle as both were forced to help Jigsaw against their will. Both of them were believed to be the main antagonists of their respective film 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.

Appearances and References

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