Friday, July 9, 2010

Art Update: Ray Harryhausen, Animal/Human Hybrids, and a Really, Really Huge Eyeball



For those of you fantasy/horror/sci-fi geeks who are planning a vacation across the pond in the United Kingdom, you need to pay a visit to the London Film Museum. The museum is hosting "Myths and Legends", an exhibition of Harryhausen's work which includes his original models and design sketches. The exhibit opened on June 29th (Harryhausen's birthday—he turned 90 this year) and it will be at the London Film Museum for one year until it is permanently relocated to the National Media Museum in Bradford, UK.

Over here in the states, the Irvine Contemporary art gallery in Washington DC (the gallery which previously exhibited the delightfully grotesque work of Aaron Johnson) is hosting the work of an artist named Gaia in an exhibit entitled "Gaia: The Urban Romantic". The exhibit will be on display until July 24.


A recurring theme in Gaia's work is the depiction of human bodies with animal heads, with some of the human/animal hybrids cradling decapitated human heads in their arms. According to the gallery's site, "Drawing on his new and evolving body of imagery depicting human and animal figures, Gaia's work reflects on the ancient themes of animal and human sympathies, but now in the context of the city and the human built environment. ... Gaia employs recognizable animal figures to remind us of lost human connections to nature and the environment. He constructs an image of a reversal of the 'natural order' where animals intervene as protectors and avatars for a new awareness of the human condition in the natural world." No word on whether the display includes a fly-headed human holding in its hands a human-headed fly.

Finally, there's a 30-foot tall giant eye on display at Pritzker Park in Chicago, IL:


If eyes are windows to the soul, then this eyeball provides a window large enough to swallow souls by the thousands. The eyeball will be on display until October 31. It was created by artist Tony Tasset, who also did a blob monster sculpture, a very suggestive and somewhat gory grotto, and the most ghoulish chandelier I've ever seen, as if it were taken straight from one of the the "bone chapels" at various locations across Europe. The eye is part of a Tasset installation coordinated by the Chicago Loop Alliance (CLA). Cue the Hall and Oats karaoke:

Gi-ant eye
It's watching you
It sees your every move
Gi-ant eye
It's watching you
Gi-ant eye
It's watching you, watching you, watching you



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