Beyond "Side Show"

Though this month's assignment exhibition, "Side Show", comes to a close this weekend, that doesn't mean the fun has to end! Many artists have looked to sideshow and circus imagery for inspiration, so if you're hungry for more, below are some other examples of sideshow art. Brooklyn-based painter Marie Roberts looks to the classic sideshow posters for her bright and colorful banners and murals. A descendent of carnival workers and performers, she returns to her roots with hand-painted signage advertising eccentric performers and attractions. Her work has been part of Coney Island USA, a nonprofit arts center, and is used in Coney Island's Circus Sideshow. To learn more about Roberts, check out this interview about her history and work, and check out some of her pieces.

Marie Roberts

Marie Roberts

Marie Roberts

Artist Jeffrey Harp blends a vintage photography aesthetic with fanciful and at times horrific surrealism, creating strange and fascinating artworks that are reminiscent of old sideshow photographs. Harp's black and white photomontage style leans toward steampunk in the use of strange technology and Victorian-era costumes, but his distorted bodies and tendency to fuse animal traits with human forms seem to call back to turn-of-the-century sideshow and carnival attractions.

Jeffrey Harp, "Sword and Chalice"

Jeffrey Harp, "Giraffa Camelopardalis Reticulata"

For more era-specific sideshow art, there is a wealth of poster design used to advertise circuses and carnivals, with bold imagery that continues to inspire artists today. Here is an interesting collection of circus posters.

Sells Floto Circus poster

Ringling Bros poster