Some days it seems like you can’t open a book or turn on the TV without running into a vampire. Think Anne Rice’s “Interview with a Vampire” series, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Van Helsing,” “Twilight” and many more I don’t even know about. What is it about vampires that engages modern audiences? I think it is the diversity of personalities that they are now allowed to inhabit. The blood-thirsty creatures are not all evil; they can be compassionate, generous and even engage in close relationships with humans.
In “Vampires and Wolf Men” now showing at the Johansson Projects, Oregon based artist Anna Fidler re-imagines people from the 19th and early 20th centuries as vampires and werewolves. Using original photographs from the Oregon Historical Society, the artist electrifies the portraits with the aura and energy of the supernatural. Walking through the exhibit, I could feel the eyes of these resurrected individuals lodge in my back and linger on my footsteps.
In the artist’s statement Fidler says, “My series ‘Vampires and Wolf Men’ includes monumental portraits of individuals from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as vampires and werewolves. The legend of the vampire is of particular interest to me due to the subject’s innate romanticism fused with a form of energy exchange—in this case the transference of life from one being to another.”
“Vampires and Wolf Men” will be showing at the Johansson Projects in Oakland, CA, through August 4, 2012.
*Images from the Johansson Projects.