Here’s an artist whose work I have purchased. I forget what it cost, but I’m pretty sure I got change for a dollar. It was a temporary tattoo of his “Marsh Mallow character” that was sold by the register at Rainy Faye bookstore.
He has a new show in Black Rock, where, I’m glad to see, art survives:
“OZlings on Display” is a collection of two dozen illustrations by Bridgeport artist B.M. Riley.
Inspired by the world of L. Frank Baum, the show is a character study of the fantastical inhabitants of OZ from the 39 celebrated books, starting with “The Wonderful Wizard of OZ.”
Riley’s fresh take shows what Dorothy’s companions might have looked like in their earlier years, and introduces us to rarely seen characters such as Tommy Tallow the candle man, the lost Red Kite, the villainous Nome King and many others.
The pieces are a combination of quill ink and watercolors on hand dyed Bristol. A few canvases of OZ landscapes will also be on display. Originals and prints will be for sale.
Riley’s art has been showcased in local galleries as well as New York City, New Orleans, and San Francisco. He is also very active in the Connecticut theater scene and is the director of new works for the newly formed Bridgeport Theatre Company.
“OZlings…” opens with a reception on Friday, Jan. 28 at the Port Coffee House in Black Rock from 6 to 9 pm. The show can be viewed through February.