I was recently invited to participate in an unusual art show, one that features comic covers. In this show, every artist could exhibit up to three pieces and they had to be 8.5″x11″, unframed. Now comic covers are not something I ever do but I thought it would be a fun challenge.
So I began by thinking who my superhero would be and whether I could use the imagery from any of my previous artwork in this challenge. One thing I knew from the get go was that it had to relate to my life as an artist. The pieces had to say something about me and what drives me to create art. I started to think about the prevalent themes and subjects in my work and the thing that stood out the most was my desire to communicate about relationships and perspectives and how I have often taken personal situations and presented them in a way that could resonate with many viewers. In doing so I have often been the subject of my artwork, so I decided that I had to be the superhero of my comics and my “power” would be to shine a light on people so that they could perceive themselves and their relationships with more clarity. And I knew exactly which pieces would work for this, three pieces from my Mirror, Mirror show, in which I delved into the theme of personal journey through exploration of self as viewed through the mirror of others’ perceptions.
The pieces I would choose to turn into comic covers would be some of those that included the red hand held mirror, the mirror being the means through which I would exercise my power of revelation. The mirror is of course a device that reflects what is shown in it. What is seen is affected as much by the clarity of that mirror as by the scope of what it reflects. These have been themes that I have explored at length in my work.
I wanted the word “mirror” to be incorporated into the name of my superhero and the name came to me in a flash of illumination. I am Italian and the word for mirror in Italian is “specchio” (the “cch” being pronounced as a “k”). Because the mirror being used was red this would be “specchio rosso”, but being female I changed it to Specchia Rossa. The coolest thing about this superhero name is that the first four letters of my name are “chia”! So the name relates on numerous levels. And it just sounds awesome! Of course I had to call my company Chia Comics!
The three covers had to tell a story and their tag lines had to relate to the original pieces.
So the first comic cover below, coming out this August, is based on my piece Here I Am, and its tagline is “For all the world to see!”. This first issue introduces Specchia Rossa and her power of illumination to the comic world, the tag line relating to both her power and her launch into the world.
The second cover, due out in September, is based on the piece, Will You Look In The Mirror? Its tagline, “Will you look in her mirror?”, challenges those who come into contact with Specchia Rossa to take an introspective and honest look at themselves if they dare. Was it not Socrates who said “An unexamined life is not worth living”?
The final cover, available in October and based on Who’s the Fairest?, is taglined “How will you fare?”. It is a little play on words that reminds us of the importance of courage and honesty in our relationships. Will you be presented with a “fair” image of yourself in Specchia Rossa’s mirror?
These three pieces will be printed onto heavyweight acid-free art paper and presented unframed for the Co-Mix Art Exhibition along with many other fabulous pieces by local artists. If you are in town, you are welcome to attend the opening at Martin Batchelor Gallery on Friday, August 15, 7-10:30 pm, and Saturday, August 16, 10am-5pm, and meet the many artists and wonderful comic covers on display. Show will continue to August 30.