Why has Pop Art — a movement initially ridiculed by art critics and historians — outlasted them all to become, arguably, modern art’s most “modern” art? And why is it that works of the premier American pop artist Roy Lichtenstein continue to elicit strong reactions from both his fans and his detractors almost 60 years later? It’s time to explore the life’s work of an artist that has defined the pop art movement for over half a century.
Join New York Adventure Club as we explore the verbal and visual history of Pop Art, and analyze the foundational works and artists that have come to define the modern art style with a focus on those from Roy Lichtenstein.
The life, career, and truly unbelievable story of American photographer Vivian Maier (1926-2009) gives truth to the adage that “truth is stranger than fiction.” After all, how else could one describe how a woman with no formal artistic training took over 100,000 photographs in her lifetime, hardly develop or print any of them, and die unknown and unmourned?
And then in the quirkiest of fates, have her works accidentally discovered posthumously, which would go on to receive global acclaim and fame? This is the incredible personal and professional story of Vivian Maier, arguably the greatest photographer of the 20th century.
Join New York Adventure Club as we explore the mysterious life and career of Vivian Maier, a nanny in the Chicago area during the mid-20th century who took over 100,000 personal photos of predominantly urban life in Chicago and New York — a collection that would have stayed unknown forever without the chance discovery of her photographs’ negatives in the 2010s.
A carefully curated overview of Maier’s immense body of work — in black and white, color, film, and scrapbooks
Thetrajectory of Maier’s crazy-quilt life journey, from Europe to New York City to Chicago, and eventually around the world and back again
The story of how her bountiful body of work was discovered and disseminated, along with her semi-surreal story of her life — thanks to the young photographer John Maloof in the early 2010s
How her esteemed body of photographic works measures up to some of the greatest photographers of the 20th Century, like Robert Frank (“The Americans”), WeeGee (a.k.a. Arthur Fellig), Diane Arbus, and Cindy Sherman
What better way to celebrate the Fourth of July than with the two greatest versions of the ultimate patriotic superhero, Captain America?
After the creations of Superman (1938) and Batman (1939), the third-most iconic superhero, Captain America, was created in the spring of 1941 by two young comic book cartoonists, Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, who wanted to raise the isolationist-consciousness of the American public about the fascist threat from the raging Second World War’s Axis powers. Simon and Kirby succeeded beyond their wildest dreams, as Captain America not only became an overnight success, selling millions of copies per issue, but publisher Marvel Comics (then known as Timely) even dressed up an actor as the good Captain to stump for war bonds!
But after the War ended, Captain America, like all the superheroes of the era, fell out of favor with the comic book audience, who turned to other genres like humor, western, crime and, into the 1950s, horror and science fiction. But Captain America co-creator Kirby, who had a career renaissance in the 1960s with Marvel, spearheading its new superhero line, brought him out from “retirement” in 1964 and into new life as the unquestioned “captain” of the Marvel Universe. His version of Captain America in The Sixties is considered the definitive run of the character in its history.
Except for one other, at the tail end of the decade, by Kirby’s greatest influencee, the writer and artist Jim Steranko. His meteoric rise at Marvel, beginning in 1967 on Kirby’s James Bond-like character, Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., labeled Steranko the Jimi Hendrix of Comics for his equivalent experimentation and psychedelic artwork. In 1969, Steranko set his sights on paying homage to his hero Kirby’s Captain America, creating a three- issue story arc that many comic book historians consider the single high water mark of the character’s entire history.
Hall of Fame comic book artist and storyteller STEVE DITKO’S groundbreaking depiction of Spider-man went against type by portraying the everyman, the loner, the underdog—i.e., the teenager—as superhero, and hence super-antihero, the Silver Age of Comics’ most popular.
Yet, somewhat paradoxically, Ditko also made Spider-man a tour-de-force of the superhero genre itself, featuring creatively choreographed fight scenes and acrobatic derring-do that took full advantage of the traits inherent in the hero’s arachnid namesake.
But after Ditko suddenly and startlingly left his trademark character, and Marvel Comics, in 1966, it fell to fellow Marvel artist JOHN ROMITA the unenviable task of following Ditko on the title, for Ditko’s unique stylization made Spider-man one of the few in comic book history to be so intrinsically linked to its original artist, which played a large role in the character becoming, by the time Ditko left, the de facto mascot of Marvel Comics.
But Romita rose to the challenge, and relatively quickly made his Spider-man even more popularly successful than Ditko’s—and ever since, the bona fide corporate logo of Marvel itself.
To this day, arguments among aficionados of Spider-man over whose depiction of the webbed wallcrawler is the greatest, Ditko’s or Romita’s, still rage, online and off. So come to this brand-new webinar by comic book art historian Arlen Schumer (author/designer, The Silver Age of Comic Book Art) and decide for yourself!
The legend of John Henry, based on the 19th Century railroad worker who died while competing against a steam-powered drill, is also the archetype of the 20th Century American superhero; it’s a short leap from The Steel-Drivin’ Man to The Man of Steel!
Join New York Adventure Club as we explore the history behind the John Henry legend, about the mostly-anonymous ex-slaves who helped build this country’s railroads and railroad tunnels, and in doing so, unified it, geographically and spiritually, transforming America into the United States of America. Their hard labor, sacrifice, determination, courage and perseverance were personified by John Henry.
Hosted by award-winning comic book-style illustrator and pop culture historian Arlen Schumer (author/designer, The Silver Age of Comic Book Art), this trenchant webinar is replete with historical images and photographs, as well as Schumer’s own book illustrations that portray Henry super-heroically!
•Hard to find behind-the-scenes production photos and documentary films–often shot by BOND crew members themselves!
•Rare advertising films and promotional materials!
•The “greatest hits”—film clips and stills—from each Connery classic!
So you’ll not only “see” the first 4 Connery Bond films in a fresh, new light, but, through my commentary and insight, you’ll also appreciate them anew in the context of their times, as the beginnings of the modern action film, and part and parcel of the creative pop culture explosion that was the 1960s! In this 4th installment, 1965’s THUNDERBALL, you’ll learn:
•Why THUNDERBALL was supposed to be the very first Bond film, not DR. NO
•Why the director of the first two Bond films, Terence Young, came back to direct THUNDERBALL
•Why THUNDERBALL is the last great Connery Bond film
In conjunction with our current exhibition, “FRANK ROBBINS: The Prodigy” (May 26-July 4), featuring the lesser-known body of paintings by the famed comic book writer and artist, we are excited to present a collateral gallery talk, “REQUIEM FOR ROBBINS: The DC Comics Art of Frank Robbins,” by comic book art historian Arlen Schumer (author/designer, The Silver Age of Comic Book Art).
In 1971 Robbins, already established for years as a DC Comics writer on their Batman titles, became the first creative talent to both write and illustrate a Batman story in the character’s published history, the first of four that Robbins would execute over the next year; then, in 1974, Robbins illustrated for DC four issues of one of Batman’s major inspirations, The Shadow. Both of Robbins’ runs created considerable controversy among fans at the time for his radical, stylized approach to “superhero” illustration, one that continues to elicit strong reactions, fifty years later.
We invite you to hear comics historian Schumer give a detailed and visually dynamic presentation on these intriguing illustrated works by Frank Robbins —and discover what the controversy over Robbins’ comics is all about.
Please RSVP to info@shin-gallery to attend.
Arlen Schumer is a comic book-style illustrator and comics/pop culture historian—his book The Silver Age of Comic Book Art won the Independent Book Publishers Award for Best Popular Culture Book, ABC-TV’s 20/20 named him “one of the countryʼs preeminent authorities on comics and culture,” and Comic Book Artist magazine called him “one of the more articulate and enthusiastic advocates of comic book art in America.”
As much as the original superheroes themselves, New York City itself has played a prominent role in the history of American comic art!
The famous skyline, buildings, and environment of New York City have been as much a part of American comic art history as any of its most famous characters and superheroes who lived in it, and whose exploits and adventures took place there. The very first modern American comic strip appearing in 1895, Richard Outcault’s The Yellow Kid, took place in the immigrant tenement slums of the City.
And up through the 20th Century and the evolution of the comic book and the genre most associated with it, the superhero, New York City would be the setting for so many of its super-powered protagonists, even if they lived in thinly-disguised versions of the City, like Superman’s Metropolis and Batman’s Gotham City.
“For Jor-el so loved the world he gave his only begotten son, with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men!”
Ever since superheroes first burst upon the American scene in the late 1930s, they have always used their mighty super powers defending the causes of “truth, justice and the American way,”to quote the famous motto of the first superhero, Superman.
But there is something more, something embedded in the superhero mythos that goes deeper than their surface feats of derring-do. Because for all of their mighty displays of super-strength, speed, flight, heightened senses or occult, supernatural powers, the greatest superpower of them all is the power of love: the love every superhero has for the people they’re protecting from harm or rescuing from the forces of evil, or for the universe(s) they’re saving from destruction.
Some of the most memorable stories in the history of comics have been about superheroes sacrificing their lives for their friends, families, or mankind itself. “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends,” from John 15:13, is one of the most memorable passages in The New Testament.
So come join comic book-style illustrator and historian Arlen Schumer(author/designer, The Silver Age of Comic Book Art) as he explores how superheroes in American comic book history have always reflected Christological aspects of heroism and self-sacrifice, whether overtly, subconsciously or unconsciously; you’ll see your favorite superheroes, and comic book art, in ways that will make “all seem new again!”
Why has Pop Art — a movement initially ridiculed by art critics and historians — outlasted them all to become, arguably, modern art’s most “modern” art?
And why is it that the works of the premier American pop artist Roy Lichtenstein continue to elicit strong reactions from both his fans and his detractors almost 60 years later?
Join New York Adventure Club as we explore the history of Pop Art, and, with a focus on those from Lichtenstein, analyze the foundational works and artists that have come to define its style.
Led by comic book-style illustrator and pop culture historian Arlen Schumer (author/designer, The Silver Age of Comic Book Art), our virtual deep dive will make you look at Pop Art, and the works of Lichtenstein, as if seeing them for the first time!