A. Nancy Cintron, “Programmed for Love & Destruction”
The Good Goat Gallery in Lakewood, Ohio, has decided to use the summer of 2015 to celebrate one of the finest actors in the sci-fi/horror pantheon (and a longtime DM favorite), the utterly ineffable Vincent Price. The modest storefront art space has mounted an exhibition of paintings inspired by Price’s life and career; the title of the show is “Six Degrees of Vincent,” and it is currently open for viewing on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday afternoons until August 29.
The gallery and the exhibition are the brainchild of A. Nancy Cintron, an artist whose paintings address topics from popular culture in amusing ways. “Six Degrees of Vincent” contains roughly 40 works of art, virtually all of which actually feature Price as a subject. Technicolor Vincent, black-and-white Vincent, campy Vincent, forbidding Vincent, interpreter of Poe Vincent…. so many representations of Vincent, all executed with noticeable skill and (far more important) evident affection and admiration for the actor’s work and unusual persona.
Posted on the wall near the entryway to the show is a statement from Cintron that reads as follows:
English was my second language … I actually learned it from watching a lot of television. Unfortunately, I was raised on incredibly raunchy comedy shows, hence my gravitational pull towards the perverse and the absurd. Vincent Price’s Doctor Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine was right up my alley. Although I have always preferred his classy macabre films, I have very much appreciated his ridiculous role as Doctor Goldfoot.
I have visited the exhibition twice, and on both occasions I had an extended discussion with Cintron. The gallery has a room that is not connected to the Vincent Price exhibition with a bewildering variety of works from multiple artists operating in an intriguing, whimsical, and macabre zone reminiscent of Tim Burton, Edward Gorey, Tara McPherson, etc. The Mexican tradition of Día de Muertos also serves as an inspiration for some of the artists.
Cintron’s enthusiasm for Vincent Price is obviously shared by the artists who have contributed works to the show, and she has somehow encouraged the painters to think outside the box when it comes to approaching the canvas mounted on the wall (although that may have been their idea all along, of course). In other words, a good many of the artworks have a 3-D component or combine sculptural elements in ways that bear some resemblance to the diorama or the puppet show. Indeed, one of Cintron’s own Price-inspired creations, “Product of My Warped & Twisted Genius,” features a knob that juts through the surface of the canvas with which the viewer can manipulate a music box—remarkably, it is not the only piece in the show that incorporates a music box.
As the statement above indicates, Cintron’s several works in the show focus on a 1965 movie of Price’s called Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine and its sequel, Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs, which came out in 1966. From the looks of Cintron’s work, the movie is a goddamn pip.
The artists represented in the show come from locales such as Mexico, France, Italy, and England, as well as less remote hubs of artistic activity such as Dayton and Cleveland (the latter of which which borders Lakewood). Victoria Price, the daughter of Vincent Price, has helped oversee the show, part of the proceeds of which will be donated to a scholarship foundation dedicated to the macabre master.
Cintron noted with some satisfaction that a remarkably high percentage of the depictions of Vincent Price in the exhibition (of which only a handful are shown here) featured Price’s trademark cocked eyebrow—proof enough that the artists aren’t kidding about the fervency of their ardor for the actor’s work.
On Friday, August 28, there is a reception to mark the end of the exhibition, which may find itself in such far-flung places as Los Angeles or Australia in the not-too-distant future.