Comic book superheroes have been inspiring creatives since the early 1960s, when pioneering Pop artists first explored the world of contemporary culture. During that decade the once distinct lines that separated high art, comics and mainstream movies started to blur and cross-pollinate across the mediums.
Bob Kane and Bill Finger created Batman. Andy Warhol transformed him into art. Then he became the star of a phenomenally successful TV series, combining pop art design with pastiche performances.
In Europe anti-hero and sci-fi comic characters inspired movies such as Danger Diabolik and Barbarella. Both were originally aimed at international adult audiences, but gained cult followings among connoisseurs of camp due to thier eyepopping visuals, highly imaginative design and unpredictable narratives.
Comic culture has always had a loyal LGBTQ fanbase who admire the underlying eroticism of the artwork and can also identify with the Superhero protagonist - an outsider who strives for a better world.
Over the past 30 years comic book culture has grown in stature and now engages with vast mainstream audiences due to the enourmosly popularity of the Hollywood Superhero movies.
This exhibition aims to show various aspects of the genre's influence and impact on artists, designers and photographers, many from the LGBTQ community, who have produced work which, like the comics themselves, is colourful, creative and often subversive.
Artists include Duggie Fields, Pam Hogg, Whitaker Malem, Michael Johnson, Tim Martin, Glyn Dillon, Reece and Dean, Lily Bling, Kelly Anne Davitt, Billy Chainsaw, Roxanna Halls, James Davison, Art by Villain, Daniel Edwards, Emma Rogers, Paul Housley.