“Fingerhole" marker on shrink plastic (8”x5”)
Sometime around 1933, while working for True Detective Magazine, where he was tasked with retouching the gore out of photos of dead bodies shot at crime scenes, Charles Addams complained that “a lot of those corpses were more interesting the way they were.” It seems that the publication’s readers, while fully willing to perversely immerse themselves in horrific stories of true crime, were yet too sensitive to get too close by taking in the real visceral visuals. Fear of real and imagined monsters that lie waiting for us in dark shadows seems to preserve western culture’s preference to shade its eyes from life’s dark realities, even (or perhaps especially), in the years leading up to World War Two. And yet, in that time, Charles Addams had begun to imagine one of the most famous and darkly delightful of haunted nuclear families, The Addams Family, which turned the squeaky clean archetypal characters of Leave-it-to-Beaver culture on their heads.
It could be argued that dark humor defies our cultural tendency to pour sugar on shit and call it a cupcake. Long before and after The Addams Family, comedians, artists, and illustrators have looked into the dark abyss to shine a funny bone upon it, and make life’s difficulties just a bit easier to bear.
Black is Such a Happy Color is an exhibition of artwork that uses dark symbolism and a dark sense of humor to stare into the maw of life’s many twists and traumas. Its artwork either laughs through a dark lens along with life’s difficulties, empowers us with sardonic strength, or uses shadowy ideas to evoke spirituality or mirth. Some of the works explore a love of horror, while others are comprised of the Cute and Creepy characteristics seen so often in New Contemporary artwork.
Artists in the show include Wren Britton of PureVile!, Michal Brodka, Jeff Faerber, Kate Glasheen, Danny Gonzalez, Fred Harper, Seldon Hunt, Jeremy Hush, Moses Jaen, Amos Madruga, Drew Maillard, Caitlin McCormack, Nathan Reidt, Frank Russo, Martina Secondo Russo, Allison Sommers, Bronwyn Todd, and Zoë Williams.
After opening night, the show will be open by appointment only, until July 28.
Email: info@MFgallery.net or call/ text: (917)446-8681 to schedule a visit.
“Black is such a happy color.” - Morticia Addams
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