Exhibition runs August 2 - August 30, 2008
All of the artwork can be viewed and purchased online here!
I am feeling short of descriptive words today, so I will let the couple of press writeups do the talking for me! :-) Yay for press!
New Times Thursday, July 31, 2008
Skot Olsen Solo Show at Bear and Bird
Edgar Winter’s Got Nothing on Him
By John Linn
Skot Olsen is one of those painters for whom everything he does looks like a window in a magical world — one where bizarre creatures roam the land and humanity holds dark secrets. In Olsen’s creations devils walk among us, sowing the seeds of chaos, while mere mortals struggle against the awesome forces of nature. But you also get the feeling (as in Olsen’s “Black Water Harvest,” where fleets of ships ravage the ocean to capture giant squid) that the smaller, more fragile humans in his paintings command even more power than the mythical beasts that they hunt.
It’s this motif that informs Olsen’s recent work on Graphic Classics, a series of timeless tales of monsters and fantasy redone in graphic novel form. The series has covered larger than life monsters like Dracula, Doctor Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, and even Cthulu. For Olsen’s part, he’s recreated one of the most exemplary works of mankind’s power over nature: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Olsen approached the comic’s creation with a painter’s touch, so instead of developing each page as a single piece of art, Olsen actually painted every panel individually. The process of simplifying his usually complex images to account for dialogue and script was challenging for him, Olsen says, but the end result is a book that has a uniquely artistic feel. Over 100 of these individual paintings will be on display this Saturday at Bear and Bird Boutique + Gallery (at Tate’s Comics, 4566 N. University Dr., Lauderhill) as part of the exhibit “Skot Olsen’s Frankenstein.” The opening reception takes place at 7 p.m., and Olsen will be there to talk about his work and sign copies of his new book. The whole thing is free, and includes complementary sushi, and tunes from DJ *elyse*. Call 954-748-0181, or visit www.bearandbird.com.
City Link Metromix Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Re-creating a monster
Painter Skot Olsen gives new life to Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein'
By Colleen Dougher, City Link Metromix
It's been more than seven months since a fire destroyed two years' worth of painter Skot Olsen's work. The South Florida artist lost 20 paintings, most dealing with hallucinations and religion, in the blaze at Miami's Howard Golen Gallery. But Olsen, touched by the outpouring of support from friends, put the loss in perspective and got back to work. He is planning to unveil a new body of paintings with a maritime focus later this year. But first, he will sign copies of Volume 15 of "Fantasy Classics," a Graphic Classics compilation featuring a comic-book adaptation of Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein," this Saturday at Bear and Bird Gallery in Lauderhill. About 135 of the 200 paintings Olsen created for this book will be on exhibit. Recently, City Link Metromix.com interviewed the artist about the show.
Tell us about Graphic Classics.
Graphic Classics books adapt classic literature to comic-book form as a way to introduce young people to stories they might not readily pick up. Often, they pick one writer to focus on in an issue, so when Mary Shelley came up, they asked me to illustrate "Frankenstein."
Do you have any favorite illustrations?
My favorites are mostly on page 29 in the actual book. They are of the Monster discovering books and learning to read. Maybe I was on a roll that day, but I think these little paintings are some of the most interesting and collectible. I also like the panels where I was asked to paint a ship or the water. My current work in the fine-art world revolves around a maritime theme, so I think these were also successful.
What did you do to get in the groove for working on this project?
Naturally, I re-read "Frankenstein" but purposely did not watch any of the movies. I had a few lunches with my friend Novi, who reminds me of the Monster in more ways than one. I also listened to Mozart's "Requiem" at the start of every session to get me in the gothic mood.
Where did you create this work?
I work from a room in my house that I converted into a studio. It's very small, so I'll probably have to upgrade to another larger studio sometime next year.
Can you discuss the process of working on this?
The book was adapted for comic form by the writer Rod Lott and art-directed by Tom Pomplun. They sent me a script directing me to put this or that in each panel and how much text was to be included. I then decided how to arrange the elements of each panel in a way that moves the reader's eye along the story. Because of the number of panels, I had to focus on composition rather than detail, which was difficult for me because I tend to paint in a detailed style. It was an exercise in boiling down the ima ges to their raw form while meeting the needs of the story and following the direction of the writers. I enjoyed it, but don't think I'd want to do it again any time soon. It was a lot of work.
How big are the paintings and how will they be priced?
The acrylic-on-canvas boards range in size from 8 inches by 10 inches to 11 inches by 14 inches with the exception of the cover, which is 18 inches by 24 inches. The prices range from $75 to $200, with the cover—oil on canvas—being $2,000. My work normally sells in the mid-to-high thousands, so this is a way for entry-level collectors and fans to get an original of mine.
How does this work tie into your whole rebuilding process after losing so much in the fire?
This work was done last year long before the fire, but since most of my stock is destroyed, it's a way to pick up a few extra dollars. I have shows scheduled at the end of the year in Miami and in San Francisco. Until then, I have little means of making money, so this show may be a welcome relief. It also puts my art back in the public eye. While the fire has and continues to generate press, the kind of press I like are the stories about me actually participating in art shows. The fire temporarily knocked me out of the loop, but I must say, [it] has sharpened my focus and has given me new energy. I'm coming back swinging.
Skot Olsen's "Frankenstein" exhibition will open 7 p.m. Saturday and run through Aug. 30 at Bear and Bird Gallery, 4566 N. University Drive in Lauderhill.
Call 954-748-0181 or visit Bearandbird.com. Contact Colleen Dougher at email@example.com.