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Visual Arts

The art knight rises

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s the Istvan Gallery’s latest exhibition celebrating comic books!

Louis Fowler October 9th, 2013

Hot on the well-pixelated heels of its last exhibition, the video game-themed Art of Bits/Bits of Art, the Istvan Gallery once again finds itself in geeky territory with its latest art show, The Art of the Comic Book. For gallery owner and curator Stephen Kovash, who learned to draw from comic books, it’s a chance to give Oklahoma City a new perspective on what has long been considered low-brow art by outsiders.

Marilyn Artus

“Comic books are a billion-dollar industry,” Kovash said. “They’ve become an important part of American art. The Museum of Modern Art (in New York City) has been collecting comic books for a long time. It’s a legitimate art form, and I think The Art of the Comic Book will help give people who haven’t been exposed to comic art another conception of it.”

The exhibition opens with a Comic-Con-inspired celebration 6 p.m. Oct. 11 at Istvan Gallery, 1218 N. Western Ave. The show runs through Oct. 27 and features work inspired by some of the most notable icons of the medium, as well as original pages from numerous popular comic books and graphic novels by over 15 locally and nationally recognized professionals in the comic business.

One of the featured artists, Jerry Bennett, believes the show is important to Oklahoma because it demonstrates that comic books are a “valid and thoughtful” art form.

“People don’t realize the amount of work that goes into creating a comic book,” Bennett said. “You’re fully composing and laying out a page, and at the same time, you’re visually trying to keep a story going. I think that because Hollywood has been turning so many of them into movies that more people are taking them seriously, but it’s still not held up as art as high as it should be.”

Considered a rising talent in the comic book world, Bennett said that it was important for him to be a part of The Art of the Comic Book because it sheds light on the talent that Oklahoma has but many people might not be aware of.

“Honestly, I’m more popular online than in Oklahoma,” Bennett said. “I’ve come to make a name for myself in a broader spectrum, having done licensed work for Lucasfilm and Marvel, but I’m really glad to have been invited to be in this. There’s a huge wealth of talent and wide range of styles, and I think there’s a style for everyone that comes to see this show.”

“People aren’t used to going to a gallery and seeing an art show quite like this,” Kovash added. “I want this to be a show for everybody. Comic books range from dime-store pulp fiction-type stuff to multi-million-dollar Hollywood blockbusters. It really is an art form for everybody, and this is a show that will have something for everybody.”

Hey! Read This:
Oklahoma Gazette Visual Arts: Art of Bits/Bits of Art

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