This June, Brumfield’s Gallery in Boise, ID (USA) will be running an exhibit devoted to the kind of art that our readers might find dark, weird, or grotesque – in other words, appealing. “Gothic Fiction and the Dark Romantics” will be devoted to featuring the work of artists who are already familiar to WFR – such as Chris Mars, previously profiled by our art columnist Nancy Hightower – and many more they may not have already encountered, such as Kevin Titzer, Jane Andrews, Len Shelley, Michael deMeng, Kyla Zoe Rafert, Ego, and Michael Barnes.
In the words of the curators of the exhibit:
The title of this show harks back to a time when our taste for melodrama was at its peak. The Victorian ‘gothic fiction’ of Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, and Edgar Allen Poe reflected a public fascination with the tragic and frightening, which in its own way was an echo of their time. Concurrent with this was the romantic notion of beauty in pain and the tortured artist. The beautiful melancholy of the Pre-Raphaelite era combined love, death, and nature with stoic courage and an aesthetic grace. The eight artists in this show have a similar sensibility, delving into grave ideas, such as suffering, mortality, futility, and our path to self-destruction, while recognizing the resilience of the human spirit. We recognize the light by passing through the shadows. In some faiths there is no evil, just an absence of good, there is no dark, just an absence of light.
The curators see their featured contemporary artists as working within a spectrum of visual art including such darkly compelling artists as Bosch, Brugel, and Goya, and yet “they speak with individual and authentic voices, based in personal experience of their own time.” And so, “the grotesque is celebrated; our sympathies, darkest fears, and our ability to empathize with the most wretched are provoked.”
Below you can find a sampling of work from the artists who will be on display at the exhibit. Based on this array of work, we think it’s safe to say that this collection will be promising for fans of weird art, at the very least. For additional information, interested parties can view the Brumfield’s Gallery website.