As horror fans we've long known that art can be both disturbing and adorable -- Gremlins, anyone? It's Alive? Yeah, you get the idea. Still, it's nice to see academia acknowledging the synergy of the aesthetically pleasing and the grotesque, as demonstrated in "Cute & Creepy" an exhibition which runs through November 20th at Florida State University's Museum of Fine Arts in Tallahassee. Check out some more images from the exhibit after the jump.
"Cute & Creepy" features work by a number of artists you've no doubt seen before, especially if, like I do, you frequent LA's quirkier galleries. Folks like Travis Louie and Kathie Olivas (whose Elizabeth can be seen directly below) are pretty recognizable. But it's also chock full of artists I wasn't previously familiar with, working in all manner of media; like Brooklyn's Kate Clark, whose Untltled (Black Bear) is the second image below, or Australia's Jon Beinart, whose disturbing Toddlerpede (the third image down) outdistances The Human Centipede. A lot more pictures can be found on the exhibition's website and in its gorgeously produced catalogue, with a terrific essay penned by noted writer Nancy Hightower.
"Cute & Creepy" is open every day to the public. (Check the website for hours and more info.) Here's how curator Carrie Ann Baade (whose own art has adorned the cover of Weird Tales) describes it...
"With the recent and publicly-celebrated exhibitions of Tim Burton at MOMA and Edward Gorey at the Wadsworth Athenaeum, now is the time to revel in the genre of the macabre. This work is cute and it's creepy…it's what I like about contemporary art.
"After growing up wondering whether all the great art had already been made, I feel there are more amazing artists working now than ever before.
"Over the past six years, I have exhibited with the artists taking part in this show or have discovered their work through attending their exhibitions. It's been such a pleasure to see the rise of this wave of dark art and the Pop surrealists that this exhibition promotes.
"To see beauty in the carnivalesque or macabre, in freaks and in monsters, is a matter of aesthetics. Most of us can agree on the artistic value of a Monet or Titian but this work is for a daring audience, an audience open to exploring the strange beauty and the ecstasy inherent in our culture's aversions.
"There is something that makes us uneasy when confronted by the weird or the unusual. Those who can appreciate both have come to anticipate and enjoy unexpected sensations. Work of this nature is not going to be an underground movement any longer: the grotesque is going mainstream."'