Skot Olsenis 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 Olsens 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 Olsens 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.
Its this motif that informs Olsens 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 Olsens part, hes recreated one of the most exemplary works of mankinds power over nature: Mary Shelleys Frankenstein. Olsen approached the comics creation with a painters 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 Tates Comics, 4566 N. University Dr., Lauderhill) as part of the exhibit Skot Olsens 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.
Aug. 2-30; Mon., Aug. 4; Tue., Aug. 5, 2008