Monday, December 24, 2012

Labbits Like Culture: The Art of Edward Gorey

On his way to the Great White North for Christmas, Pipkin stopped in Portland, ME, to catch the Edward Gorey exhibit "Elegant Enigmas: The Art of Edward Gorey," in its last few days at the Portland Public Library.

A bird with sneakers? A rabbit with a mustache?

This free exhibit was put together by the library, the Maine College of Art, and sponsored by the Bank of Maine, and has over 170 pieces of Gorey's work in the form of framed illustrations, rare sketches, book covers, stage designs, personal letters, and some of his own hand-stitched toys.  Edward Gorey's work resonates with Pipkin because they both share a whimsical spirit of the ridiculous and nonsensical. White toy rabbit + mustache = Happy Labbit. Penguin-like creature + scarf + Converse sneakers = The Doubtful Guest. Crazy! Here are a few pictures from the gallery.

Display case at the center of the gallery.

Variety of art cards, books, sketches, accordion fold and flip books.

Oooh! Tiny little labbit sized books!

Pipkin wants a Gorey illustrated copy of War of the Worlds!

Who doesn't love Edward Gorey's cats? Pipkin wishes he could flip through the rest of the sketchbook.

Patriotic figbash!

Pipkin's happy Gorey was into toys.

Pipkin made his way around the gallery, looking at the framed prints. Some of these pieces are rare or unpublished. Pipkin has a rather large collection of Gorey's books, but there were many he'd never seen. He liked the cautionary little tale above.

It's hard for Pipkin to pick a favorite, but this one panel with the rabbits' restroom made Pipkin giggle. The dead body, hanging limp at the woman's side as she points to a burial spot in the middle of a field of rabbit poops is just so macabre and silly at the same time. Very Gorey.

The exhibit runs for only a few more days, until December 29th, 2012. If you're near Portland, ME, it's well worth the trip to the library to see it before it's gone. No Gorey fan should miss this exhibit. One of these days, Pipkin's going to visit Gorey's home on Cape Cod. For now, he's inspired to revisit the books and perhaps get Clover to knit or sew a figbash toy.

Happy Christmas Eve, all!

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