"Creature Trick-Or-Treaters Visit Salem on Halloween" 2023
Salem Art Gallery presents the captivating solo exhibition by renowned artist Michael Broom. Through a masterful blend of popular horror iconography and original creations, Broom's paintings bring to life the essence of the season. With each brush and stroke of imagination, he transports viewers to a realm where the boundary between horror and inspiration blurs.
The exhibition draws a significant amount of imagery from the location itself, the city of Salem and the spirit of Halloween serving as profound sources of inspiration for Broom. Within these enchanting surroundings, Broom has immersed himself in the rich historical tapestry of Salem, mining its centuries-old stories, folklore, and architectural charm to infuse his creations with a sense of place and time. The city's cobblestone streets, historic buildings, and the lingering echoes of its witchcraft trials have all played an integral role in shaping the visual narrative of this exhibition. Furthermore, the vibrant spirit of Halloween in Salem, with its elaborate costumes, bewitching decorations, and a palpable sense of enchantment, has fueled Broom's artistic vision.
Broom's use of iconic cultural Halloween and horror creatures transcends mere artistic representation, delving deep into the collective psyche of the season. With a deft hand and a keen eye for detail, he breathes new life into these timeless figures, inviting viewers to contemplate the enduring significance of these archetypes in our cultural imagination. Through his skillful reinterpretation, Broom not only pays homage to the classics but also reinvigorates them with fresh perspectives, shedding light on the evolving narratives of fear, fascination, and fantasy. His art serves as a bridge between tradition and innovation, offering a captivating dialogue that speaks to the enduring power of these iconic creatures in shaping our understanding of Halloween and the broader world of horror.
Michael Broom is a concept artist for the Film and Television Industry, and the author of two children's books. His Film and Television projects have included storyboards and concept design for 'The Walking Dead', 'Creepshow' (TV Series), 'Blade Runner 2049', and 'X-Men: First Class' among others. His illustrated children's books, 'Sky Rats’, are both currently available on Amazon.
Trained extensively in traditional mediums and branching out into digital technology, Michael now utilizes multiple different tools to accomplish his artistic goals. His interests lie in the macabre and fantastic; with inspirations like H.P. Lovecraft, H.R. Giger and Frank Frazetta, never far from his thoughts.
Mark Porter was born in Warwick, Rhode Island, but is based in Brooklyn, where he has established a studio that merges sculpture, installation, and innovative construction techniques across mediums. Trained in classical sculpture, Mark worked as Boaz Vaadia’s assistant, finding a great affinity in the artist’s use of space and the natural environment in his sculptures.
While Mark does not deliberately court controversy, his combination of the beautiful and the disturbing rendered with a precise technique and modern mindset can lead the casual observer to mistake him for a provocateur. The greater narrative in this work, however, relates to an understanding of the truth that is revealed in the interaction between materials, form, and gesture. In this revelation, strength may be cast in disposable plastics while fragile subtle elements are embodied in steel.
My paintings combine traditional techniques and materials with formal design. The work puts the illusion of representational painting against the reality of the material and the painting as an object. This duality is also seen in the mixing of contemporary and ancient subject matter found in my work. The visual themes focus on the subjects of history, myth, and mortality