Categorized | The Bronx Beat

Look, up in the Bronx!!

By: Mehroz Baig

Who is your favorite superhero: Batman, Superman, Wonderwoman, your older brother? Superheroes fight the good fight and encourage others to do the same. That motivation to inspire children is what prompted the superheroes theme at the latest exhibit on display until March 2 at Casita Maria in the South Bronx, said Sabrina Wirth. Wirth of Wirth Art Advisory, an art consulting firm, curated the show. She said Casita Maria’s location close to the Bronx Studio School for Writers and Artists provided the right backdrop for the superheroes theme—schools and superheroes alike encourage students to reach their potential.

“[The superheroes theme is] empowering,’’ said Lyla Rose, visual, performing and literary arts manager at Casita Maria. “It’s accessible and fun and can be elevated to the level of fine art. It has resonance with everyone.” Rose added that students are always excited and surprised to discover what counts as art.

The current exhibit showcases art in many forms—from collage and paintings to photography and animation. The show features eleven artists from the United States, the Dominican Republic, Britain and Turkey. The artwork focuses on both the fantasy and reality that comes with superhero personalities. Painter Gerard Ellis’ “Portrait of Batman” depicts the inner thoughts of one of the winged hero, while painter James Seward’s “My Brother Before Third Deployment” presents the weight of the current war on terror.  Some works make a commentary on a specific moment in history or on a current theme. “Tiananmen” by Ruth Ava Lyons features a painting completed in 1989 after the Tiananmen Square massacre.  Sener Ozmen’s “Supermuslim” is a series of photographs showing Superman in prayer.

The variety of artwork featured in the show was intentionally left open-ended, Wirth said. She wanted to showcase the different perspectives associated with superheroes and spar a conversation about it among visitors. “Superheroes” puts into play the definition of a superhero and twists our take on traditional superheroes that have long been meshed in the fabric of American pop culture.


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Various pieces by Valerie Hird, 2007, digital prints, archival ink on mylar mounted on rag board, 8.5 x 11 inches. (Photo Credit: Mehroz Baig)

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