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Eye of the Beholder: A Look at Monochromatic Art

Posted by BG Staff // March 31st, 2016

We’re gearing up for the opening of Center REP’s satirical play “Art” (opens April 1), a look at friendship put to the test with the purchase of a $40,000 all-white painting. The Tony Award-winning play challenges audiences to reflect on what makes a work art, a question still hotly debated in the pages of nearly every art publication today.

 

Rauschenberg White-Painting-Seven-Panels 

Robert Rauschenberg, White Painting [seven panel], 1951. Oil on canvas, 72 x 125 inches (182.9 x 320 cm). Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, New York, New York. © Robert Rauschenberg Foundation / Licensed by VAGA, New York, New York.

 

Monochromatic art is often first on the proverbial chopping block, especially when the color of choice is, well, a non-color: white. Robert Rauschenberg raised eyebrows in 1953 with the exhibition of his seminal work White Painting - seven large panels of store-brand white paint meticulously applied to canvas with a roller. The simple nature of his technique baffled many viewers and critics, though Rauschenberg himself said of the work: “It is completely irrelevant that I am making them – Today is their creator.” He refers to the way the white paint picks up light and shadow and reflects other nuances in the room, rooting the work in the environment and time of its viewing.

 

Ryman untitled (1961)

Robert Ryman, Untitled, signed and dated 61, oil on canvas, 48 3/4 x 48 3/4 inches. Photo courtesy Sotheby’s.

 

Adding to the hysteria is Robert Ryman’s 1961 work Untitled, a large oil on canvas painting that recently sold at Sotheby’s for $15 million. Ryman is known for his monochromatic work, primarily white-on-white, and his paintings often fetch quite a lot at auction as those passionate about collecting his work value the subtle variety of tones and textures. Though many critics didn’t disregard the validity of the piece as contemporary art, many challenged its high price tag.

 

Billie Grace Lynn White Elephant I

Billie Grace Lynn, White Elephant I, 2007, ripstop nylon, chiffon, 8 x 6 x 10 feet

 

What is it precisely that gets our hackles up over these pieces? Is it their medium—painting—and their seemingly simple technique combined with a lack of subject matter? If the work is an all-white sculpture, for instance, with its more obvious form (even in abstraction) and physical presence, why do we find it easier to value the work? Ancient marble sculptures come to mind, incredibly valued and always en vogue, despite their lack of color. In our recent exhibition Blow Up: Contemporary Inflatable Art, Billie Grace Lynn’s inflatable sculpture White Elephant I delighted visitors to the gallery, the subtle shadows in the folds of white cloth surrounding its supporting armature adding to its beauty. Here the color white is vital to the meaning of the work, serving as a metaphor for transformation and the sacred. Any other color would have taken away from the power of the piece.

If you see the play, we’d love to know what you think! Stop in the gallery and share your thoughts with us. Better yet, catch the matinee performance of "Art" on Sunday, April 3 and join us in the gallery for the opening reception of our new exhibition Safe at Home: A Short Survey of Baseball Art, 3-5pm!

 


 

Make Art, Will Travel: Commissioned Work On the Road

Posted by BG Staff // March 24th, 2016

Commissioning artwork has always been an important part of our curated exhibitions at the Bedford, often anchoring a show and bringing the excitement of new work from talented contemporary artists to thousands of visitors to the gallery. We’re thrilled to have worked with several artists over the past year to produce pieces for recent shows that will travel nationally for the next few years as well:

Lee Boroson – Live Rock

Boroson final image

For the past 16 years, Lee Boroson has created site-specific installations, often with inflatables, that illuminate patterns of human navigation. Live Rock is a hybrid form based on artificial reef structures—manmade structures that become surrogate homes for undersea life. This sculpture shows a complex environment that is normally hidden underwater, and questions the relationship between natural and artificial. It also considers our human influence on underwater landscapes and the environmental changes that are both intentional and accidental. The shapes draw parallels between natural and man-made forms, such as sea foam and paper pulp, barnacles and plastic bags, coral and cigarette butts.

Lee's Proposed New Work_Coral Reef Piece_010814   Lee's Revised Sketch_042814

Early proposal sketches from Lee.

 

To create Live Rock, Boroson used a silicone-coated nylon fabric most commonly used for military applications and parachutes, specifically designed so air cannot pass through it. Boroson constructs his installations by sewing pieces of fabric together by machine. Although Live Rock appears to consist of several structures, all of the elements are connected, creating a continuous air space on the inside that can be filled by a single blower. Some of the seams are additionally sealed with silicone material, but most of his works are intended to act as filters or ducts, rather than as sealed balloons. Air is pumped into the piece and then distributed out of it through thousands of sewn stiches, creating a “flow” that mimics the breath.

Boroson’s work was previously shown at the Bedford Gallery in the 2004 traveling exhibition Thin Skin.

 

Momoyo Torimitsu – Somehow I Don’t Feel Comfortable

Momoyo_girl running

Japanese artist Momoyo Torimitu’s Somehow I Don’t Feel Comfortable was originally a site-specific piece for a gallery show in Paris in 2000. The bunnies were intentionally made oversized, so they would seem cramped and trapped between the floor and ceiling. The focus of this piece is cuteness, especially in relation to its definition in Japan: a syndrome that has come to affect everything from communication and negotiation to smiling and sexuality. Torimitsu wanted to present this cute image distorted in a way that expresses her feelings when she faces her own culture, so she chose a bunny for its stereotypical image of cuteness, usually small and vulnerable. In their oversized and cramped form and peering down disturbingly at the viewer, however, Torimitsu’s bunnies no longer seem so cute.

Torimitsu bunny clay   Torimitsu bunny pattern

Momoyo's initial clay model and the pattern created by the fabricator.

 

Torimitsu trained as a sculptor, but to express the cramped feeling she was aiming for in Somehow I Don’t Feel Comfortable, its material needed to be flexible. She decided to fabricate the piece as an inflatable, but first made a smaller clay model of the bunny to illustrate its form and proportions. She then brought it to a fabricator who created a scalable pattern by hand, similar to the way commercial clothing patterns are made. Although the surface looks uniform, the different pieces of the pattern are made from vinyl with varying amounts of stretchiness depending on their curves, rendering more precise shapes.

However, inflatable art poses its own challenges. It needs to be inflated and deflated daily, and that variability takes a toll on seams and materials. Because the original work was already over a decade old and would be traveling for many years, its inherent fragility was a concern, and ultimately the Bedford commissioned a refabrication of the artwork specifically for Blow UP and its subsequent two-year national tour.

 

Blow Up: Inflatable Contemporary Art was on view at the Bedford April 26 – June 21, 2015. It's currently on view at Schneider Museum of Art, OR through May 1. 

Exhibition travel schedule:

Benton Museum of Art at UCONN – June 1, 2016 - July 31, 2016

Elmhurst Art Museum, IL – Sept. 1, 2016 - Jan. 29, 2017

Muskegon Museum of Art, MI – Mar. 1, 2017 - Apr. 30, 2017

Loveland Museum, CO – June 1, 2017 - Aug. 20, 2017

 

Lizabeth Eva Rossof – Xi’an-American Batman Warrior

Rossof Warrior_Cropped 

As an interventionist and provocateur, Lizabeth Eva Rossof challenges societal and commercial norms. Her art is research-based, the fabrication of which is regularly outsourced to the very industries it is critiquing. Her Xi’an-American Batman Warrior edition for the Bedford was inspired by the 8,000 terracotta soldiers discovered in the tomb of China’s first emperor Quin Shi Huang. Rossof thinks about her present work becoming future ruins as well, and a future understanding of the Xi’an Warriors of 200 BC will not seem so distant from the plastic action figures we are leaving behind. Rossof’s series of Xi’an warriors are outfitted with heads of popular American superheroes to represent the major entertainment corporations behind them (DC, Marvel, Disney), firming rooting her figures in the modern age, but fabricated in an artist’s studio in Xi’an, linking them to the past.

Batman warrior missing head

Batman warrior head at rest after its arrival from Liz's Chinese fabricator.

 

Bill Concannon – POW!!

Concannon 

Bill Concannon has been exploring color and form for the past 20 years as an artist, teacher, and shop owner, combining neon light with non-precious, “degraded” materials such as used plastic shopping bags, bottles from the recycling bin, and detritus picked up from the street. In his work, Concannon straddles the world of neon sign making and fine art, as he is both a commercial sign maker and an artist. Neon technology, equipment, and materials such as glass tubing, electrodes, and transformers come out of the electric sign industry; Concannon says that making neon signs at his shop Aargon Neon has allowed him to develop and practice his skills for fine art applications.

Concannon_POW in shop

A peek at POW!! in Bill's studio.

 

Concannon’s work was previously shown at the Bedford in the 2013-2014 exhibition New Neon. Concannon says he “inhaled” comic books as a kid and remains a superhero fan to this day (he is a DC Comics loyalist). Pow!! was inspired by the intertitles from the Batman TV shows of the 1960s and 1970s.

 

My Hero! Contemporary Art & Superhero Action was recently on view at the Bedford from January 17 – March 20, 2016. 

Upcoming exhibition tour schedule:

California Center for the Arts, Escondido, CA, May 19 - Aug. 14, 2016

Huntsville Museum of Art, Huntsville, AL, Sept. 10-Dec. 11, 2016

Daura Gallery at Lynchburg College, Lynchburg, VA, Jan. 12 - Mar. 18, 2017

International Museum of Art and Science, McAllen, TX, Apr. 15 - July 23, 2017

Yellowstone Art Museum, Billings, MT, Aug. 24, 2017 - Jan. 2, 2018

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo, MI, Feb. 3 - May, 15 2018

South Dakota Art Museum, Brookings, SD, June 12 - Oct. 2, 2018

Art Museum of West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, Nov 1 - Dec. 31, 2018

 


 

Women Unite! The Future is Female

Posted by BG Staff // March 17th, 2016

Female superheroes have all the strength of their macho male counterparts, but with decidedly feminine charms, making them important role models and feminist icons. They’re beautiful, capable, and equally ready to save us – or even help us become more confident in the workplace. While female superheroes are still underrepresented in the comic world (and almost always created by men), their numbers are steadily growing, and they’re still winning hearts. Here are a few of our favorites breaking the mold on the big screen:

 

wonder woman 2 

Wonder Woman

Absolutely the superstar of all heroines since her first appearance in 1941, this feminist crimefighter still knows how to earn respect in a corset. A compassionate warrior and a founding member of the Justice League, she completes DC Comics’ holy trinity (along with Batman and Superman). Look for her to finally star in her own film in 2017.

 

supergirl 

Supergirl

Just as strong as her cousin Superman and originally sent to Earth to protect him, this teenage heroine is the ultimate new girl, complete with identity struggles and self-esteem issues. She’s a model for believing in yourself and following your ambition.

 

jean grey 2

Jean Grey

Arguably Marvel’s most powerful mutant superhero, Jean Grey’s duality as both the healing, telepathic caretaker and the destructive Dark Phoenix make her one of the most complex as well – a woman destroyed by her own power. She led the X-Men as one of their first female members, paving the way for more female recruits.

 

storm 

Storm

Terrifyingly powerful, this mutant babe made history as the first major female superhero of color. Though she’s able to create climate chaos by manipulating the weather at will, her cool poise in the heat of battle made her an easy choice as leader of the X-Men.

 

jessica jones

Jessica Jones

One of Marvel’s newer characters, this private eye/super gal is certainly the most surly of the bunch. For all her superhuman abilities, she still struggles with addiction, depression, and anger, and it’s precisely these imperfections that make her a welcoming addition to the female superhero squad.

Don't miss your favorite superheroes - My Hero! closes this weekend, March 20!

 


 

Comic Universes: A Friendly Rivalry

Posted by BG Staff // March 10th, 2016

MarvelvsDC- 

Are you a Marvel fan or a DC diehard? If you’re not sure which universe your favorite superhero belongs to, here's a cheat sheet of each publisher's most famous characters: 

Marvel Icons

With great power comes great responsibility

 

spiderman 

Spider-Man

  • The brainchild of creators Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, this teen superhero first appeared on the the scene in August 1962. Spider-Man was inspired by Lee’s desire to develop a character that teenagers could relate to.
  • Spider-Man’s alter ego is teenage science whiz Peter Parker, whose life changes forever when a radioactive spider bites his hand during a science exhibit.
  • He is a lone wolf who struggles to navigate his two identities. The first Spider-Man story closes with a text box that reads: “With great powers there must also come great responsibility.”

 

iron man 

Iron Man

  • A testament to the power of American technology, Iron Man is a superhero virtually encased in indestructible material. He made his first appearance in 1963.
  • His alter ego Tony Stark is a billionaire capitalist, engineer, and ladies’ man. Stark created his powered suit of armor to escape captors who tried to force him to build a weapon of mass destruction.
  • Creator Stan Lee modeled the character after wealthy and eccentric businessman Howard Hughes.

 

wolverine 

Wolverine

  • First appeared in an issue of The Incredible Hulk in 1974.
  • Commonly known as Logan, Wolverine is a mutant who possesses animal-like senses, accelerated healing capabilities, and claws that emerge from the back of his hands.
  • This fan favorite character is Canadian—he was born in Cold Lake, Alberta during the late 1880s.

Other notable Marvel characters: Captain America, Daredevil, Thor, Black Panther, Blade 

 

DC Legends

Where superpowers are a gift

 

batman  

Batman

  • First appeared in Detective Comics (as DC Comics was known then) in May 1939.
  • After Batman’s alter ego Bruce Wayne witnesses the brutal murder of his parents as a child, he swears to fight for justice and unleash his revenge on criminals.
  • He has no supernatural powers, but he's able to defeat enemies based on his intelligence and physical training.

 

superman

Superman

  • Created by writer Jerry Siegel and Toronto-born artist Joe Shuster in 1933.
  • He is considered the blueprint for modern superheroes.
  • Superman is virtually indestructible—criminals break their hands when they try to punch him and bullets ricochet off his body. He is vulnerable to only one thing: kryptonite.

 

wonderwoman 

Wonder Woman

  • Wonder Woman made her first comic appearance in December 1941.
  • Her alter ego Diana Prince refers to her real name, Princess Diana of Themyscira (an island home to the Amazons).
  • Her creator, psychologist and writer William Moulton Marston, also invented the systolic blood pressure test, which later became a measure used in the lie detector test.
  • As the daughter of Zeus, she possesses incredible fighting skills, her star-studded tiara launches projectiles, and, rather than causing harm to a lying captive, she wraps them in her Lasso of Truth and gets what she needs to solve the puzzle or crime.

Other notable DC characters: The Flash, Green Lantern, Swamp Thing, Aquaman

For more Marvel vs. DC fun, stop by the gallery to see local artist Matt Ritchie’s wood-cut figures grouped together by publisher in our My Hero! exhibition, on view through March 20.

 


 

The Illuminated Page: A Super Booklist

Posted by BG Staff // March 3rd, 2016

With the upcoming film releases for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice on Mar 25 AND Captain America: Civil War on May 6, superheroes will be making a big splash this year. Now’s the time to study up on comic lore (and familiarize yourself with which characters belong to the genre’s two leading universes: DC and Marvel). Luckily for you, we’ve got just the right booklist of fact and fiction to help you geek speak with the best of them:

 

AvengersPleasantHill 

For the local:

The Flying Colors Avengers Standoff Alpha #1

Pleasant Hill’s beloved comic book store teams up with Marvel to release a special edition of this classic, featuring all the characters in the upcoming film and showcasing the city’s most famous landmark, the Soldier’s Memorial Monument. Special cover art for this edition drawn by local renowned comic artist Arthur Adams. Get it exclusively at Flying Colors Comics!

 

 marvel comics

For the history buff:

Marvel Comics: The Untold Story by Sean Howe

And speaking of Marvel: here's a narrative history of the underdog of the two big comic publishers, written by pop culture writer Sean Howe. Behind the creation of every character is an origin story populated by its writers and illustrators, often reflecting not only the culture and crises of the age, but also the ebbs and flows of the comic book industry itself. For Marvel, that led to moving from monsters to superheroes, humanizing their characters and opening a dialogue about social issues in the real world – to great Hollywood success. Consider this essential reading.

 

stan lee

And for the Marvel completists:

Amazing Fantastic Incredible: A Marvelous Memoir by Stan Lee, Peter David, Colleen Doran

The comic writer legend at Marvel delivers his personal story with all of his usual exuberance in this graphic memoir, dynamically illustrated by Colleen Doran. Just remember: memoirs aren’t meant to be candid. Enjoy the show.

 

wonder woman

For your girl squad:

The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore

A portrait of the feminist icon’s creator William Moulton Marston from New Yorker writer Jill Lepore. Knowing Marston’s secret and scandalous family story – he was a huge supporter of the feminist movement while maintaining a polyamorous relationship with two feminists, wife and mistress, under the same roof – goes a long way in explaining some of the inherent complexity in our most beloved superhero femme fatale.

 

dark knight batman

For the struggling writer:

Dark Knight: A True Batman Story by Paul Dini, Eduardo Risso

(out June 2016)

Comic screenwriter Paul Dini had always considered Batman an imaginative force, often turning to the Caped Crusader in childhood not as an avenger, but as a savior and refuge for his love of storytelling. His close relationship to the comic universe is put to the test, however, following a violent attack that leaves him physically and emotionally broken and disillusioned with the superhero-as-savior myth. Once again turning to Batman, he finds a true idol equally born from dark fears and craving justice. A moving homage to comic characters and their symbolic power to transform us.

 
comics as art

For the artist:

Comics as Art: We Told You So by Tom Spurgeon

(out July 2016)

Beautiful and engaging oral history of Seattle’s Fantagraphics Books, considered the indie and alternative “art” comic book publisher and champion of elevating comics from brawny muscles to artful introspection. With great insider anecdotes and interviews from comic masters like Daniel Clowes (creator of the cult classic Ghost World) and award-winning cartoonist Chris Ware (of the incredibly nihilistic comic series Acme Novelty Library), this is a true celebration of the publisher compiled by those in the know.

 

And for book club aficionados, a trio:

kavalier and clay 

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon

This powerful, historically-set novel by Bay Area writer Michael Chabon tackles the immigrant experience, anti-Semitism, Jewish mysticism, and the Golden Age of comics. Fast-paced and full of lyrical prose, it’s no wonder it won Chabon the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2001.

 

less than hero

Less Than Hero by S.G. Browne

A satirical tale of slackers-turned-superheroes by SF novelist S.G. Browne. Lloyd Prescott makes money as a volunteer in pharmaceutical trials, but soon learns he and his fellow guinea pigs are getting more than they bargained for – it seems side effects include mild superhero abilities. Darkly humorous and a critique of our overly-medicated society.

 

hundred thousand worlds

A Hundred Thousand Worlds by Bob Proehl

(out June 2016)

Part travelogue, part family saga, this big-hearted debut will draw you in from page one. Cult TV-series actress Valerie Torrey must traverse the country to reunite her precocious son Alex with his celebrity father, but not without spinning a tale featuring monsters, superheroes, and comic-con characters to disguise her real intentions. A knock-out first book by a writer to watch.

 


 

BG Must See: Early Spring

Posted by Christine Koppes // February 25th, 2016

An ongoing series of don't-miss shows and exhibitions we've been digging lately:

 

witch-wife

Witch-Wife: Swoon and Monica Canilao

At Chandran Gallery

Brooklyn-based street artist Swoon (you may remember her 2014 solo show at the Brooklyn Museum) and local artist Monica Canilao team up to fill this beautiful and spacious gallery with a wide array of media – from assemblage sculpture and wheatpaste prints to large-scale installation and murals. This ambitious show takes the space wonderfully, with the back room holding three giant “witches” suspended from the ceiling. These pieces are made from found fabrics, paper, and cardboard with embroidered and paper details, created by the artists in the space over the few weeks of installation. The largest “witch” acts as a tent; you can walk inside and find pockets filled with statements on stained paper. These statements are dreams submitted anonymously online to Swoon’s Dream Reliquary. A large and brightly-colored mural celebrating motherhood fills the wall in the gallery's back garden and is visible via large windows, making a strong backdrop for the show. This impressive show is one of the best I’ve seen at a commercial gallery – don’t miss it!

On view thru April 1

 

pace-gallery

Living Digital Space and Future Parks: teamLab

At Pace Gallery, Menlo Park

This immersive “digital playground” exhibition by renowned Japanese art collective teamLab is mind-blowing and oh-so-fun. It's guaranteed to capture the interest all ages and all levels of art lovers. There are multiple site-specific installations, many that are interactive, that use technology to fully immerse you into the art, exploring concepts of perspective and space rooted in historic Japanese art. Future Parks successfully entwines play, beauty, and intellectual concepts through technology – you’ll find yourself spending hours in these environments.  One building is designated as a kids playroom but will be just as entertaining for adults. Admission is $20 for adults, but it’s definitely worth the price – and drive!

On view thru Jul 1

 


 

Holy Batman Scavenger Hunt

Posted by BG Staff // February 18th, 2016

Robert Burden Holy Batman  

Robert Xavier Burden’s Holy Batman painting took 1,200 hours to create over seven months and is rich with detail. Within this 12 x 7-foot composition is a treasure trove of action figures and characters that don’t appear to fit at first glance. Click on the image above to take a closer look and see how many of the following you can find:

The Zorro action figure

Zorro was one of the main inspirations for the Batman character.  

The reference to Sherlock Holmes

This English detective was another main inspiration for the Batman character.  

Da Vinci’s ornithopter “flight machine” design

This artist's drawing partially inspired the aesthetic of Batman.  

The Twin Towers

Gotham City is a nickname for New York City. Holy Batman depicts toys primarily from Burden’s childhood, and the New York City skyline at that time included the World Trade Center.

The Scarecrow and Mad Hatter

As a child Burden didn’t have the Scarecrow or Mad Hatter toys from the Batman universe, so he based his versions on his sister’s Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland figures instead.

The crocodile

This is a reference to the character Killer Croc, but the version in Holy Batman is actually a toy crocodile that came with a GI Joe figure “Croc Master.”  

The Two-Face quarters

Instead of the customary phrase “IN GOD WE TRUST,” these quarters bear the names “FINGER” and “KANE,” referencing Bob Kane and Bill Finger, the two creators of Batman.

 

Be sure to stop in during the My Hero! exhibition on view through March 20 to see this massive painting in person - and find a few more surprising figures!

 


 

The Softer Side of Superheroes: A Knit-a-long

Posted by BG Staff // February 11th, 2016

Superman cloth 3 

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, we’ve got the perfect last-minute gift for your superhero love (because cleaning up the streets is a dirty job): Superhero cloths!

Inspired by Mark Newport’s knitted S-Man costumes in our My Hero! exhibition and the impending annual spring clean, we’re hosting a knit-a-long (KAL) for this quick and satisfying project you can finish in just a few hours. Knitted in cotton for easy care, they make excellent wash or dish cloths.

Superman cloth 2 

Start as we did with this free Superman pattern for full, row-by-row directions, or branch out and knit your favorite character logo – charted patterns make it easy to customize in various colors and sizes, since the design is knitted flat with raised purl stitches on the “right side” to create the logo. We’ll be trying the Wonder Woman pattern next with a garter stitch border, but the sky’s the limit on your creative inspiration.

We'd love to see your interpretations and projects, so be sure to share photos of your progress and finished superhero cloths on social media with the hashtag:

#myheroKAL

Superman cloth 

And for more fun superhero knits, try one of these projects below, also suitable for beginners:

Bucky/Winter Soldier fingerless gloves

Zsa Mask

Wonder Woman beanie

 

We're happy to help with questions on the project: galleryinfo@bedfordgallery.org. Happy knitting!

 


 

An International Take on American Superheroes

Posted by BG Staff // February 4th, 2016

Here’s a peek at how superheroes from the USA have inspired some of the global artists in our show.

Marco D’Alfonso - Toronto, Canada 

captain america - marco d'alfonso  

D’Alfonso first admired superhero art in comics when he was a kid—and he’s still enamored with superheroes and the good they represent today. D’Alfonso’s Captain America piece is based on a Norman Rockwell painting titled Soldier Marching with Children and is a tribute to the Fourth of July.

 

Ole Marius Joergensen - Oslo, Norway

wish i could fly - ole marius joergensen 

Like D’Alfonso, Ole Marius Joergensen too became obsessed with superheroes when he was a child. Their meaningful, adventurous lives and colorful costumes captivated him so much that Joergensen’s mother made him his own superhero costume. As an adult, Joergensen decided to make Superman the subject of a photo series depicting the iconic character as a real human being trying to do the impossible: fly.

 

Rémi Noël - Paris, France

secret-life-of-miniature-batman-remi-noel-9__880

Noël’s passion for superheroes began after he stole one of his son’s toys while cleaning his room. Upon taking the first picture, Noël realized Batman is very photogenic and romantic, and now when he travels to the United States he takes Batman with him to feel less alone.

 


 

Walk Walnut Creek & Dial into Public Art

Posted by BG Staff // January 28th, 2016

 WCPA-block_rgb_600px

 

Been missing our monthly Public Art walking tours? Now you can explore the city’s diverse Public Art collection on your own self-guided tour anytime via a new mobile app! Look out for colorful signs around the city marking the locations of 30 key public artworks, dial the number, and you’re on your way to learning more about the artists and stories behind each piece. Watch the video below from Walnut Creek TV for more information on how to use the app – and be sure to catch Public Art Manager Steve Huss’s segment around 2:00!

You can also view the mobile tour online here. Our docent-led walking tours will resume April 2016.

 


 

Strange Vs. Ridiculous: Silly Superheroes

Posted by BG Staff // January 21st, 2016

There are those superheroes that live on in legend, and then there are those… nobody knows. Below are a few you may have missed throughout the ages:

arm-fall-off-boy

Arm Fall Off Boy (aka Splitter)

Alter Ego: Floyd Belkin

Origin: The planet Lallor

Superpower(s): Can detach his left arm to use as a weapon. Has had the ability since shortly after birth. Rumor has it he gained his superpower through carelessness while holding anti-gravity metal Element 152.

Fate: Tried out for the Legion of Superheroes but did not make it. Disappeared into oblivion.

 

Vibe

Vibe

Alter Ego: Paco Ramone or Cisco Ramon

Origin: Not entirely known, pops up in Detroit

Superpower(s): Creates powerful shockwaves as sonic bursts from his hands, also a great break dancer. Batman mentors him to properly use his powers. Can also find and track interdimensional breaches, as well as being undetectable by security cameras.

Fate: A former gang member, he joined the new Justice League for a time but was the first member to be killed in the line of duty. His dead body is resurrected twice.

 

color kid

Color Kid

Alter Ego: Ulu Vakk

Origin: The planet Lupra

Superpower(s): Can change the color of people and objects. Can blind opponents with beams of the color black. Eventually learns to use his powers as camouflage. Got his power after being struck by multi-colored light from another dimension.

Fate:  Was rejected by the Legion of Superheroes. Becomes a member of the Legion of Substitute Heroes, a group of rejected Legion applicants.  Helps Superboy and Supergirl return to Earth by changing the color of the kryptonite cloud surrounding it from green (deadly) to blue (ok). Is subsequently blinded and becomes an inactive Legion Subs member.

 

hindsight

Hindsight  (formerly Hindsight Lad)

Alter Ego: Carlton LaFroyge

Origin: Earth

Superpower(s): No superhuman abilities, though he is considered a good researcher and strategist, analyzing situations in hindsight to figure out ways they could have played out differently.

Fate: Unsuccessfully tries to blackmail his neighbor Speedball, so he becomes an unofficial member of the New Warriors. He leaks their secret identities on the Internet, leading to civil war. He’s kicked off the team and arrested by She-Hulk’s fiancée. Upon release, he creates a website of conspiracy theories about the superhuman community.

 


 

Fashion Meets Fantasy: A Superhero Wearable Art Show

Posted by BG Staff // January 14th, 2016

superhero couture 

A superhero’s costume goes well beyond sartorial sportswear, serving to empower and transform the human figure from mere mortal to superhero. During the opening reception for our upcoming My Hero! exhibition, we’ll explore a range of superhero fashion in a runway of wearable art from cosplay artists and professional designers, including local fashion icon Candice Cuoco. Candice was a Project Runway finalist on season 14 and has been recognized as a leading emerging designer in the Bay Area. Her designs are known for their strong shapes and construction, often all in leather. For the Bedford show, she’ll be interpreting a modern Wonder Woman as a fierce figure navigating the many roles women take on today with strength and elegance – and a killer corset.

See Candice’s Wonder Woman costume as well as other superhero costume interpretations at the My Hero! opening reception, Sunday, January 17, 3-5pm. Runway participants will take the stage at 4pm.

More of Candice’s designs can be found at ccuoco.com.

 

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stan lee