JUNE 26 THROUGH JULY 24, 2009
Atomic Hearts & The Electrical Brain
VERONICA HEBARD, ANDY FISH, ALLISON BAMFORD, & LINDSAY SMALL
SPACE 242 , Boston’s lowbrow destination, proudly announces its June 2009 exhibition: ATOMIC HEARTS & THE ELECTRICAL BRAIN, featuring new work by Andy Fish, Veronica Hebard, Lindasy Small, and Allison Bamford. The exhibition, on view June 26 through July 24, features a variety of new work by these four illustration artists. The opening reception, Friday, June 26, runs from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. in Boston’s South End, 242 E. Berkeley Street, 2nd floor (between Albany Street and Harrison Avenue). The artists will also host an artist talk Tuesday, July 21, from 7:00 to 8:00p.m. RSVP required for attendance at either event at ww.space242.com. Regular gallery hours are Friday evenings, 6:30-8pm, and by appointment. No RSVP is necessary for visiting during
regular gallery hours.
According to Veronica Hebard, this exhibition is inspired by “a mash of low budget Ed Wood film and the fake sparkle of the 1980's Flash Gordon film. Her work dwells in colored lights, mostly feminine, with punchy colors and airy backgrounds. “I like to make images that are over saturated, either with color or concept,” she says. “For example, a pair of girls from the set of a 1930s Zorro film who look more like tired Hollywood extras than authentic kids from the California Gold Rush.”
In preparation for this exhibition, “I watched a lot of terrible El Santo movies…besides the colors and aesthetic, it was just plain silly!” Lately, Hebard has experimented with layers: one of bright acrylic, then gloss medium, then oil paint, then colored pencil. “A few of the pieces feature gold enamel and oil-based inks, which was very fun.”
Hebard is influenced by Japanese mystique, “the line work, graphic design, and aesthetics, and their reinvention of Western pop culture, particularly Japanese Star Wars posters, and a 1967 Bandi Batman doll.” She likes clean, designed work like Aaron Horkey, eBoy, and Jon Burgerman. “But on the flipside, I adore unpolished, free-form work like Gary Panter, and Neckface.” She also cites influences including posters from the Atomic Age, vinyl toys, Sam Weber, Kaela Kimura, LCD Soundsystem, Legends of the Hidden Temple, Mille Mascaras + Luchadores, John K, Clutter Magazine, John Watkiss, Gig Posters, Jack Kirby, and J. Otto Seibold.
Her work has been published by Columbia Magazine, HalfPrice Books, Blank Canvas Magazine, Worcester Magazine, The Weekly Dig, Inkstains, Detour, and ArtScope Magazine. Originally from Boston, Hebard studied at the School for the Visual Arts in New York, then finished her degree at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She lives in Worcester.
This exhibition, featuring new, one-of-a-kind pieces, showcases a combination of digital elements, paint, ink, and silk-screen printing, is a reflection of, According to Fish, “influence by the toys I grew up with, shows I watched on TV, all bouncing around inside my head, finally unleashed.”
Influenced by a strong love of bad movies, Fish cites favorites like Robot Monster, Bride of the Monster, and the Godzilla films of Toho Studios in Japan – as well as movie serials like Flash Gordon and Captain Marvel, as well as the hero/villains from both the Silver and Golden age comics.
Fish created the independent comic book character Adam Bomb, later introduced as one of the first online comic strips. It has since turned into a cult classic series of popular flash animation cartoons by Rob Feldman. He has authored graphic novels Fly: A True Story Completely Made Up, The Tragic Tale of Turkey Boy, Jerry Claus, and The Return of Dark Santa. His upcoming titles include The Sorrowful Tale of Boris the Talking Cat, The Girl with the Really Big Thumbs, and an updated version of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, entitled Harker Wanted Man. Currently, Fish is hard at work on his graphic novel Batman: 1939 for DC comics with Veronica Hebard and Boston Globe editor Michael Warshaw.
As a writer, he is currently adapting Travis Simpkins’ essay into a screenplay, and will also adapt Gangsters into both a screenplay and graphic novel for Bazley Films.
As a painter, he has exhibited throughout the U.S. including the recent Suckers and Biters at the Ad-Hoc Gallery in Brooklyn. His work in the Harvey Ball Smiley Face exhibition earned honorable mention. As a film historian, Fish has lectured on the History of Horror Film, Film Noir, as well as a retrospective of Alfred Hitchcock. His illustration clients include Coca Cola, Nike, Sports Illustrated, and others.
Originally from Massachusetts, Fish studied cartooning at the School of Visual Arts in New York and Illustration and Commercial Graphic Design at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence. Currently he teaches at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Emerson College, and Worcester Art Museum, and reviews portfolios for RISD. He lives in Worcester, The Big Woo.
Allison Bamford paints in acryla gouache and digitally, focusing on themes of anguished creatures and cute characters like ghosts, bubbles, ice cream, skulls, and clowns. “I tend to gravitate toward illustrating monsters with tragic deformities or strange expressions. I love to make things look cute, with a hint of something being drastically wrong.” With long, sweeping brush strokes and pencil lines, “I smooth everything out, making everything look squishy or slimy.”
Greatly inspired by the vinyl toy revolution, “especially Strangeco,” Bamford notes the artist Junko Mizuno, who specializes in creating comics about “adorable little girls with horrible monstrosities and zombies. Another all-time favorite is Yoko D'Holbachie who uses every color of the rainbow in every painting.” Bamford also cites Frida Kahlo “because of her severity, her extreme view of herself and her identity, as well as politics and the world around her.”
Her work has graced the covers of The Weekly Dig, The Boston Phoenix, and Undercover Fish, and has been exhibited at the Aurora Gallery in Worcester. Originally from the Los Angeles area, Bamford earned her B.A. in Illustration from Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and lives in Jamaica Plain.
According to Small the “core element I keep vivid is always visual joy.” For this body of work she set out to make large pieces that are “heavy on design, heavy on color, and light in content.” Inspired by the retro advertisements of the 50’s and 60’s, Small’s intent is “to use simple forms to build up complex images. I am very charmed by the innocence and straight forwardness of the old ads. There’s something delightfully kitschy and fun about the old way of advertising.”
Small current work, The Robot Boyfriend series, makes it clear to girls everywhere that “it’s totally cool to have crushes on giant robots. I mean, I do,” she proclaims. “Aesthetically, I really wanted them to feel like posters, so I went for a vector-type look. I actually worked exclusively in Photoshop rather than Illustrator, so I would have more control over every tiny detail.”
When asked about her influences Small says, “I am a huge nerd.” Growing up working in a comic shop, and raised on Sci-Fi, these things are still present in her work. “My biggest influence may be Craig McCracken (Dexter’s Lab, Powerpuff Girls, Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends).” Small also cites Lou Romano, Tim Biskup, Vera Brosgol, Mary Blair, and the “color god” Takashi Murakami. “I like to poke fun at current trends of pop culture like sexualization, fashion, anime, and geek culture. I love that stuff—I’m poking fun at my own interests!”
Her work has been published in Detour, The Weekly Dig, and she is currently freelance designing for an upcoming children’s book. Her artwork has been shown in at The Museum of Fine Arts, Massachusetts College of Art, and Sampson Projects in Boston, as well as the Society of Illustrators in New York.
Originally from Malden, Small earned her double B.A. in both Illustration and Animation from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She lives in Boston.
Atomic Hearts & The Electrical Brain is sponsored in part by The Weekly Dig and ArtScope Magazine, as well as Narragansett Beer and Tapeo Restaurant.
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