Alex Ross Art at the Norman Rockwell Museum

Over the holidays, I had the chance to visit the "Heroes & Villains: The Comic Book Art of Alex Ross" exhibit at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA. Ross' art is familiar to many comics fans, but the exhibit is an opportunity to see it up close at original size, and also to see his early work and influences.

The selection of his early work includes some fun crayon sketches from Ross' childhood, and even some homemade action figures. But where the exhibit really shines is in showing the influences on Ross' work. There's some wonderful 1960's art from Ross' mother Lynnette, a commercial artist and fashion designer, and you can definitely see the resemblance to her son's style. The highlights are originals from influence Norman Rockwell, including the original of a 1968 Look magazine cover that the "Justice" trade paperback cover was based on, and even a couple of Andy Warhol originals! I particularly enjoyed the section on "Uncle Sam" showing Ross', Rockwell's and Warhol's takes on the character.

I highly recommend the experience. The exhibit is at the Rockwell Museum through February 24, and I believe it will be travelling to other museums -- it's already been in Pittsburgh -- but I couldn't find a tour schedule on Ross' official site. (I also don't know if the original Rockwells will stay with the Ross exhibit.)

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