Florida Gets Cute and Creepy

“When the going gets Weird, the Weird turn Pro.” —Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, gonzo journalist

“…now is the time to revel in the macabre.” —Carrie Ann Baade, surrealist artist and guest curator of Cute and Creepy

For the past few years, it seems that the Weird have been taking Dr. Thompson’s advice, especially when it comes to the visual arts. In 2010, Tim Burton’s retrospective at the New York Museum of Modern Art became its third most-attended show in its history (Matisse and Picasso hold rankings first and second). Then, earlier this year, the Boston Athenaeum presented a very thought-provoking exhibit on the work and genius of Edward Gorey. What better way to bookmark the year than with Florida State University’s Museum of Fine Arts fall exhibit: Cute and Creepy?

Guest curated by FSU professor and pop surrealist Carrie Ann Baade, Cute and Creepy is one of the first exhibits to look at the new surreal, grotesque, and macabre dark art that has been lurking in the shadows for years, and is now beginning to permeate popular art. In addition to being the first exhibit to collect all the facets of the bizarre and strange under one museum roof, Baade explores what a Weird aesthetic really is, its cultural significance, and why the nouveau grotesque and arabesque appeals to the public today.

Cute and CreepyExhibiting twenty-five of the most cutting edge artists working today, like Kris Kuksi, Elizabeth McGrath, Judith Schaechter (whose stained glass Invocation is pictured right), Chris Mars, and Jessica Joslin (whose steampunky bone and metal assemblage Otis is pictured above), Cute and Creepy opens October 14 through November 20, 2011 at Florida State Univeristy’s Museum of Fine Arts, located at 530 West Call Street, 250 Fine Arts Building, Tallahassee, Florida 32306. For more information, please visit the Cute and Creepy website.

S. J. Chambers is co-author of The Steampunk Bible, and Articles Senior Editor for Strange Horizons magazine. She lives and writes in Tallahassee, FL and plans on getting her weird on this October 14 at the Cute and Creepy opening. You can follow her professional werdie exploits at her website or on Twitter.

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