Fittingly on Friday the 13th, the Gibby Center for the Arts in Middletown held an opening reception for a new art exhibit called, “Comics, Capes, and Corpses.” The exhibit, which runs until March 31, features a wide range of comic book art from area artists as well as end-of-days figurines called “Apocalypse Dolls.”
The exhibit gives visitors a preview of the type of art they can expect at the upcoming comic convention, Galactic Con, on March 21, said Joe Manzo, Galactic Con’s organizer.
The artists with work on display at the Gibby’s Hudson Contemporary Gallery include Electra McCloskey and James “Dankenstein” Hicks of Warwick, Maryland; Frank Dawson of Felton; Serena Conner of Newark, Shannon Brown of Middletown, and others.
Brown’s work includes a hand-painted image of Batman’s Cat Woman, and an image from the movie “V for Vendetta.”
“I do a little bit of everything. I do three-dimensional – tattoo by trade – canvass, a lot of color pencil,” Brown said describing her work. “Realistic is my favorite thing to do, but I’m branching out to many different things.
Numerous “Apocalypse Dolls” are also on display. The dolls are the work of Electra McCloskey who transforms innocent-looking figures she buys at Goodwill into sci-fi heroines equipped with weapons to fight the end-days of the apocalypse described in the Bible’s Book of Revelations.
“They are the survivors,” McCloskey said. “You can see that they are ready to make it through this terrible period.”
But not everyone in a small town like Middletown is ready for the kind of art these local artists produce, according to some of the artists. Brown expressed disappointment at people who prefer to buy art from the Internet instead of looking within the community.
“It seems like a lot of people don’t have an appreciation for art anymore. It’s a big issue. Everyone wants everything for nothing. They are happy with a shoddy picture from the Internet and don’t care about quality, especially when it comes to an original piece of work,” Brown said. “It’s more important to me to have a piece of original work at home than some copy from the Internet or a really horrible quality version of something.”
Other artists, like Serena Conner, said that she often hesitates to put a dollar figure on her pieces at gallery exhibits.
“I don’t try to put a price. They tell me to do it, so I do, at least to just cover the price of the framing,” she said. “Nobody buys art anymore. It’s a shame.”
Still, the artists at the art gallery remain positive that their work will be appreciated more as enthusiasm for comic books and similar genres continues to gain in popularity.
Those interested in checking out comic book art will have a chance at Galactic Con. The event will feature many artists who will display their work as well as offer live demonstrations.