Monster Mash

It’s more intense than Halloween, the gross mash-up of kitchen supplies and body parts provided by Christine Chin of Geneva, New York.  Her ghastly photos of an anatomical alchemy propelled me through and away from the show called “EAT IT” at Rochester Contemporary last week.

Portraits in pen by
   Murray Tinkelman
    at The Mercer Gallery, Monroe Community College

Barely, had I turned the corner but I was face to face with a whole rogues gallery of monster portraits by the likes of Murray Tinkelman.  The Werewolf, Frankenstein, Dracula, and Godzilla were all in attendance.  Murray was the man who made all the drawings of those characters that evoke such fear and loathing.  But the show at MCC probably is a turn on for movie buffs, – you have to roll back the tape to remember Lon Chaney, Jr., Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi doing their evil best.

On view was the painstaking artwork of Murray Tinkelman that mimics the style of old etchings or engravings from books and magazines of a hundred years ago.  Murray also celebrates a career of more than sixty years as an illustrator, and he was someone whom I met when I was constructing a curriculum for the School of Art at R.I.T.  I wanted to know what an ideal Illustration Program might look like, so I went to Murray Tinkelman’s class then at Syracuse University to sit in and watch a pro at work.  He made me comfortable there, and we talked about other schools that I planned to visit – in other words Murray was a mensch.

The Mercer Gallery show also featured meticulous drawings by Murray of Coney Island, and all the places one would visit along the boardwalk…  I remember photographing many of the same scenes – Nathan’s Famous restaurant, a roller coaster at the Steeplechase, the Wonder Wheel, and the beach –  so much fun!  Murray’s drawings are not so much nostalgia, as they are a kind of documentary portrait of a place and a society that just holds on in the 21st century.

Drawing by
   Murray Tinkelman 
   at the Mercer Gallery, MCC

Up ahead is another gallery show, this time at The Oxford Gallery – featuring 50 local artists who were given the theme of “The Four Humors”.  I hope to have something to say about the exhibit in my next post.

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