The Magic, Mystery and Marvels of Halloween at John Natsoulas Gallery

Experience the thrills and chills of Halloween at the John Natsoulas Gallery. The first Halloween-themed exhibition opens on September 24th and runs through November 1st, with an opening reception on Saturday, October 4th at 7pm.

Imagine a world where goblins, astronauts and princesses roam the streets and ghoulish figures hide in the shadows planning their attack. Halloween is a centuries old tradition that fascinates both young and old alike. It is the celebration of the darker aspects of life, the subconscious and macabre parts of human nature that rarely get expressed in our everyday lives. Halloween allows for our ghoulish nature to run free, at least for one night. It is also a holiday made possible only through the work of artists. Artists provide the fundamental structures of Halloween through audiovisual art, from costume design and eerie makeup to terrifying illusions. These illusions stem from an art form known as trompe l’oeil, a French term that literally means “to fool the eye”, a technique that utilizes the knowledge of perspective to create the illusion of something that in reality does not exist. This art form permeates the very core of Halloween itself.
In the 16th century, artists such as Pieter Bruegel explored the process of letting one’s inner demons out through his surreal and psychologically probing depictions of prominent members of 16th century society and peasants. Bruegel was a master at illustrating the tension between morality and carnality, crafting works that were chilling, haunting and comical. Bruegel’s eerie images contain many of the elements that are utilized to create the spine-tingling effects of Halloween today: creatures rising out of the darkness, unseen eyes watching your every step, winged beasts that snatch children from the skies. While Halloween has become a rather commercialized holiday, the lasting effects of these images continue to haunt society one night a year.
Contemporary artists such as Lisa Clague, Wesley Anderegg and Deborah Rogers are masters at combining the beautiful and the grotesque, creating a mythological world that bring the subconscious to the forefront. Explore the magic, mystery and marvels of Halloween as the natural becomes the supernatural through the artist’s lens.
Exhibition Dates: September 24th – November 1st
Opening Reception: October 4th 7pm-9pm
Media Contact: Nancy Resler
Phone: (530) 756-3938
Email: art(at)natsoulas(dot)com
John Natsoulas Gallery
Location: 521 First Street, Davis CA 95616
Gallery Hours: Wed-Thu 11am-5pm, Fri 11am-10pm, Sat-Sun 12pm-5pm