October 19, 2010

Art review: Commercial, yes, but Gorman shines through in his work


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Arizona Godzilla,” gouache on board, by Mike Gorman

click image to enlarge

“Van Gogh,” ink on paper, by Mike Gorman



WHERE: Sanctuary Tattoo & Art Gallery, 31 Forest Ave., Portland, (207) 828-8866, www.sanctuarytattoo.com

WHEN: Through October 30

HOURS: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday

One thing I admire about Gorman's drawings is his willingness to go well past the norm (on which he has a solid grasp) and press the envelope hard to challenge you. Still, I can't think of a single person I know with whom I couldn't discuss the work in the show. And while many of his themes touch on traditionally non-kid topics such as sex, drugs, violence and gore, I didn't think any of the drawings would either make my 6-year-old uncomfortable or be out of his range to discuss. I first thought the post-shootout Sesame Street scene would be too much -- but I then decided it could start a great conversation about cartoon violence. When I asked him what he thought, he immediately identified what was going on and simply said, "Violence doesn't fit in that scene."

While Gorman's approach largely follows cartoon-style illustration, he has his feet planted firmly in reality. The result is that his work and wit are solid, understandable and interesting. Between the cool venue, the strong work, excellent prices, and the great prints currently on view next door at Ed Pollack Fine Arts, I strongly suggest visiting Sanctuary this month.


Freelance writer Daniel Kany is an art historian who lives in Cumberland. He can be contacted at:



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