Artist Brad Siskin debuts Halloween art exhibit at Graveface Museum

Savannah-native, Brad Siskin's Halloween exhibit, "Digging in the Basement" is a vast collection of fifty pieces of "cheap weird art" that spans his work collectively over the last five years.

click to enlarge Curse, pen, crayon, and marker on Manila paper, 9 x 12 inches, 2020.
Curse, pen, crayon, and marker on Manila paper, 9 x 12 inches, 2020.

Figurative drawing is the primary bulk of the exhibit, selected by the artist to be most appropriate for the Halloween exhibit comprised of subjects like, “monsters and things like that,” he states. His latest artistic process is akin to that of psychic drawing—without psychic powers—in that both methods incorporate automatic drawing subsequent to his previous meticulous work. The initial process begins by, “scribbling to see what shapes or little characters that bubble up to the surface.”

click to enlarge Dracula, Flashe and marker on construction paper, mounted on panel, 9 x 12 inches, 2016.
Dracula, Flashe and marker on construction paper, mounted on panel, 9 x 12 inches, 2016.

He credits his stylistic progression to “kid-like wonder” and cites his medium as just that, Crayola crayons, markers, and ball point pen. And divulges about his “obsessive childhood nostalgia” of the smell of a box of crayons and all that is Halloween. Reminiscent of shopping at drugstores as a kid for retro halloween costumes. Specifically those “vintage costume sets with the flimsy mask with a string on the back and vinyl jumpsuit,” he recalls. He names Ben Cooper masks and Collegeville Halloween Stores as inspiration for his Halloween-themed paintings.

“Halloween was the biggest deal of the whole year, as a kid,” he reveals. “Halloween was my favorite holiday as a kid.”

Siskin admits that only, “1 of 10 drawings succeeds and the rest are thrown away”. Of the pieces that survive the trashcan of doom, is a sellable collection of both unframed and framed works alike. All framed work is done at Atwell’s Art & Frame Shop, a local favorite of the artist.

The Halloween-themed exhibit will be debuting at the gift shop located at the front of the Graveface Museum, Oct. 23-25 only. Admission to the art show is free all weekend, but touring the museum will require a general admission ticket price.

click to enlarge Jackal, pen, crayon, and marker on construction paper, 9 x 12 inches, 2019.
Jackal, pen, crayon, and marker on construction paper, 9 x 12 inches, 2019.

When you arrive, follow the backend of the alleyway to enter the Museum shop. Inside, you will find a collection of oddities, full of macabre, true crime and circus-y things and a free-to-play arcade in the back. Graveface Museum, owners by Ryan & Chloe—who also co-own Graveface Records—serendipitously met Brad while Ryan was looking to buy a vintage-arcade pinball machine, and their mutual interests brought them together. Ryan suggested their timing of their collaboration to coincide with Halloween. The non-traditional venue combined with the time of year was eerily appropriate to display the haunting art.

Siskin laughs, and says that all of his work isn’t macabre, and says he still is a fan of Halloween as an adult. Although, this year, he is keenly aware that things are going to be a bit different. With the utmost confidence he says that this show is the best selection of what he’s been trying to do as an artist.

About The Author

Nicole Youngblut

Nicole Youngblut is a contributing writer for Connect Savannah, where she covers the local art and music scene. As a graduate of The Fashion Institute of Technology, she spent many years in New York City as a fashion stylist and event promoter. Nicole has written for ChannelGuideMag.com and Shopbop.com. Her passion...
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