02 December 2011
Brian, Wendy, Toby Froud at Animazing Gallery Soho
If you know me, you know just how faery obsessed I am. If you don't, well I've just stated it so now you do! (Do excuse the lack of coherent writing, my brain is quite faery-addled and probably will be for a few days.) Brian Froud is the world's foremost faery artist and I had the pleasure of meeting him some years ago when the Punk Glam Princess was about 4 or 5 years old (she'll be 12, you do the math, read the above bit about faery-addling) at the infamous Books of Wonder children's bookstore. A lovely new friend, Katie Lennon, who is also a faery artist told me about the gallery opening, and snagged an invite for me & the PGP, and her little sprite as well. So off we went on a faery adventure...
Animazing gallery is noted for it's interesting collections of artwork such as those by Charles M. Schultz, Maurice Sendak, Tim Burton and others (a small collection of various artists is available for viewing/ purchase), but we were there for the opening of the Frouds Visions for Film + Faerie, and it exceeded expectations in every way.
First there is the art. Whoa, what a collection! From lost drawings from "Labyrinth" to Wendy and Toby's sculptures, of which I'd never seen in person. The intricacies of these sculptures were astounding, not only the whimsy (the very nature of all things fae) but the artisanal craft that goes into each one very simply blew my mind. Then of course there is the artwork, and really all I can say is that if you're at all familiar with the artwork of Brian Froud -- from the films he's worked on to his sketches and paintings from various books -- you will not be disappointed!
Toby Froud with Ignatz. He probably hates this, but you will remember Toby as the baby from the film "Labyrinth", well he's all growed up and married to the lovely Sarah.
Here is Ignatz looking rather forlorn.
Sculpture by Toby Froud. Photo by Katie Lennon.
Some of Wendy and Toby's sculptures. The little guy on facing outside the window was so calling my name! I swear it felt like he would leap through the glass and into my pocket!
Kiera, the Gelfling from "The Dark Crystal".
R to L: Toby, Brian, Wendy Froud, Jane Henson, her granddaughter (you see her feet), and daughter Cheryl Henson.
The evening was also enhanced by the attendance of Mrs. Jane Henson (of Jim Henson and the Muppets fame), her daughter and granddaughter. Near the end of the evening Jane Henson graced us with the ultimate compliment by stopping us to say the two sprites looked as if they stepped right out of one of the Froud paintings, then looked at us and said we did too! (FYI the sprites had been singing "The Muppet Song" just prior to this, hence another reason why I don't believe in coincidence.) Granted, there was a great deal of faery energy in the room (you could practically see the pointed ears, wings, and other assorted faery attributes) but it was so sweet of her to stop and give us the compliment, and its a moment I shall treasure.
There was an auction of a Brian Froud painting, "Tinkerbell" done as a concept drawing for Peter Pan (setting the record straight -- of which he was uncredited) with proceeds going to the Jim Henson foundation. Quite entertaining, as it was done by the recipients of a grant from the foundation.
The exhibition opens to the public today, 2 December 2011. Saturday 3 December 2011 the gallery will host a book signing by the Frouds from 3-6 pm, open to the public (books and posters purchased at the gallery and I believe you have to RSVP, see website for details) which we're hoping to attend. The exhibit will be on through 12 February, but it will be condensed at some point so I suggest going as soon as possible to view the whole collection and purchase a marvelous holiday gift!
Brochure shots from the exhibit.
Update: More photos from the opening reception can be found on Animazing Gallery blog here.
54 Greene St (Corner of Broome in Soho)
NY, NY 10013
In all, it was a faery amazing evening!