Gallery Piece - 1
2018 Comics vs. Art
Love In The Face of Loss
Original painting: Musical Interlude (1910), by Ellen Day Hale
Adaptation inspired by: The Crow (1994) by James O'Barr, Alex Proyas, et. al.
Prints for sale HERE
My Full Statement:
I’ve always been drawn to the depths of darkness, for the sake of finding light and hope from within. In the darkness of The Crow, there is a bright light of love that has always shone so brightly to me: the love that’s shared between Eric Draven and his fiancée, Shelly Webster, which was lost after they were brutally beaten and murdered by a gang of thugs on Devil’s Night. One year later, Eric’s restless soul is summoned from the dead by a crow--a spirit guide--who helps to make things right in the name of love/justice. He arises (literally crawling) out of his grave and seeks restitution upon his murderers. All throughout the story, Eric flashes back to happier times with Shelly and, in spite of the violence of his vengeance, his true feelings of love and loss are never far away. By the story’s end, Eric has completed his ghastly task, having avenged his and his love’s deaths and is returned to his grave, where Shelly welcomes him to a peaceful afterlife.
When I first saw The Crow, I connected with Eric’s character and his devotion to Shelly. That was the sort of love I wanted for myself, a love so deep, it bridged the gateway between life and death. I wanted to live a life where “True Love never dies.” Those themes still move me to this day. As I looked at Ellen Day Hale’s painting, my thoughts drifted to an aspect of Eric’s character: his musical talent. He was the lead guitarist in the heavy metal band, Hangman's Joke. I chose to shift the setting from a soft, well-lit comfortable interior and illustrate Eric playing his electric guitar on the windowsill in the darkened remains of his attic loft that he shared with Shelly.
Since the film is shot in de-saturated tones, as close to black and white as one can get without actually shooting in black and white, I emulated that musty quality in the muted colors of my illustration. I feel it shows the stark contrast between the darkness of fear and hate and the lightness of love and honor. Eric’s playing a melancholy tune, reflecting on his shattered past life (represented by the broken window). Additionally, I’m representing the triad of the Past (love), the Present (loss/revenge) and the Future (justice) with the images of the cat Gabriel, Eric Draven and the Crow. As the young character Sarah says at the end of the film, “If the people we love are stolen from us, the way to have them live on is to never stop loving them. Buildings burn, people die, but real love is forever.”
My Gallery Statement:
In the gothic darkness of "The Crow" film, there is a love story that's always shone so brightly to me. I've illustrated Eric Draven (aka The Crow) playing a melancholic love song to his dearly departed fiancée, Shelly Webster. As the young character Sarah says at the end of the film, "If the people we love are stolen from us, the way to have them live on is to never stop loving them."
About Comics Vs. Art Exhibit
Comics vs Art III: The Museum Edition is the continued playful exploration of classical art through the lens of graphic artists.
This was the 3rd year for the Columbus Comics vs Art exhibit (The Museum Edition), a playful exploration of classical art through the lens of cartoonists and graphic artists.
Wild Goose Creative exhibited original works of art from Central Ohio cartoonists and comic book loving artists for the third Comics vs Art exhibit, curated by Canada Keck. Artists contributing to this exhibit will playfully re-imagine fine art paintings as comic art. This year the catalog of works to choose from is largely comprised of American artists, many with ties to Ohio, who represent the wide diversity of a nation of immigrants.
The curator, Canada Keck, once again challenged over 40 artists to look at selected paintings (this time from the permanent collection of Columbus Museum of Art) and reinterpret them as comic art. There were 56 pieces of art created for this exhibit, all inspired by the permanent collection of the Columbus Museum of Art. These fantastic, fun pieces include ones done by comics creators, fine artists, and youth of the Star House Foundation. The Wild Goose Creative Gallery exhibited these original works in September 2018, coinciding with the Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (CXC).
For the third Comics vs Art exhibit, Canada chose “Variations on a Theme” and allowed multiple artists to reinterpret fine art paintings as comic art. In selecting the paintings to be reinterpreted, Canada focused on American artists, particularly those with an Ohio connection and/or who are more representative of the variations among us. Canada endeavored to have a much greater diversity of artists, by race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and outsider status. Canada wanted to celebrate the amazing diversity we have because we are really all immigrants.
This event is supported by Ohio Arts Council, Greater Columbus Arts Council and The Columbus Foundation. We would not be able to do it without them!