For years Hollywood moguls argued that the long johns sported by comic-book superheroes would not translate well to the big screen. Some costumes have made the transition better than others (George Clooney's nippled Batman costume still rankles), but artist Mark Newport has taken matters into his own hands by creating ready to wear, acrylic-knit superhero costumes for use in real life. Hanging side-by-side on a gallery wall, his hand-knit creation Sweaterman
exists in the same reality as Batman and carries the same cultural weight. And while there is no denying that finding Captain America's iconic duds in a gallery is just plain cool, there's also something alarming about the way the costumes hang limply, empty of the human form that gives them life — even if it is a fictional life. Mark Newport: Self-Made Man
, an exhibition of his knit creations, opens with a free public reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, February 5, at Laumeier Sculpture Park (12580 Rott Road, Sunset Hills; 314-615-5278 or www.laumeier.com
). Newport will attend the opening "in character" (intriguing) and will also participate in a knit-in on Saturday, April 3. Mark Newport: Self-Made Man
remains on display through Sunday, May 9; the gallery is open every day except Monday.
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: Feb. 5. Continues through May 9, 2010