THE HORROR 3
October 19 & 20
House Gallery (2607 35 St. S.W.)
The end of October is drawing near, and if you haven’t got your Halloween groove on, a visit to the House Gallery this weekend might be just the dose you need. Horror 3, appropriately, is the third annual show devoted to all things terrifying, and 2012 has attracted dozens of artists.
The House Gallery overtly describes itself as a venue for “pop and lowbrow art.” Literally a house in the southeast, the gallery is owned by Derek Bisbing, who co-curated the show with artistic duo Gentlemen Destroyers (a.k.a. Jim Laing and Jordan Pasiuk).
“Pop art means popular. Popular in which sphere, though?” says Laing of the gallery’s (and show’s) mandate. “Popular in the conceptual fine art world versus the tattoo world versus guys who draw comic books — it varies. We do have a lot of art school graduates, art school students — we’ve got a professor from ACAD, we’ve got one of the techs from ACAD. We’ve a slew of tattooers and professional comic artists.”
Each contributing artist was given an 8-inch by 8-inch surface to work with, although the media was up to them. Three-panel triptych? Single-panel cartoon? Sculpted monkey head with exposed brains? Come one, come all.
“One piece is a replica of a prop for a horror film that’s being shot here this winter — there’s a crocheted zombie, some paintings, some drawings, two cross-stitch artists,” says Bisbing.
“I always like the idea of exposing people to work that they might otherwise [not] see — that’s the end goal for me,” says Laing on the variety of artists included in the show. For example, “guys who tattoo in a shop aren’t going to go apply at an artist-run centre or a commercial gallery for a show. It’s just not something that they generally do. It gives people... a space to show their stuff, which is equally as valid as anything you’re going to find in any gallery.”
With over 30 shades of horror-themed art, you’ll definitely find standard Halloween fare: creepy greyscales with spatters of red, monsters, skulls, and unicorns in meat processors. Even so, horror is a broad enough theme that the artwork doesn’t get repetitive.
“We certainly assume that people are going to do somewhat predictable gory Halloweeny horror things, but it’s... really exciting when you know someone is not into this genre and they come with some super rad thing,” says Bisbing.
He describes one artist’s piece that is “a visual representation of a really bad car accident she was in a couple of years ago, so it’s not outwardly horrible in terms of blood guts and gore, [but] it’s her interpretation of horror.”