I have to admit I may have misinterpreted the theme of Y:Art’s Superhero exhibition.. I’ve been delving into comics at home and at work so I was already wrapped up in other ideas.
My sons and I have been visiting comic book stores trying to navigate intimidating walls of comics. It took us years to find what interests us. We used to go to the comic book store not knowing where to begin and leave empty handed. Then we learned how to ask for recommendations and now one thing leads to another. Now my sons have their own recommendations.
As a web programmer working with open source software I attend a lot of tech conferences where I sometimes speak. I’ve given a presentation, The Medium is the Massage 2.0 where I bring in ideas from Scott McCloud’s “Understanding Comics”. The book explains through comics the mechanics behind telling a story with images and words. Putting words and images together has always been an interest of mine. This resulted in a series of hand bound books in collaboration with writers and poets. It took me years to realize that comics are a bleeding edge image/word art form. I’m so glad that the Superhero at Y:Art show has brought these worlds together for me. Art, family, work.
For the Superhero show I created a triptych of hand studies inspired by classic comic book artists like Jack Kirby. Early comic artists took inspiration from Mannerist and Renaissance artist. You can see similarities in poses and foreshortening. Unlike Pop Art where the artist amplifies the means of production, painting Benday dots and blowing up actual comics, these drawings use comics as fine art subject. I tried using my own hand as a model, but that didn’t work. The model had to be the comic. They complete a circle: fine art → comics → fine art.