PHOTOS: Zombie art invades Armory Arts Week 2012

Usually the art world is at the forefront of pop culture trends, but until now it has lagged behind in one key area: zombies.

Fortunately, artists are finally embracing the ‘undead’ as subject metter. No fewer than three works at Armory Arts Week in New York City deal with zombie-related themes. Scroll down for images of the strangest art trend to emerge at this year’s Fountain and Volta shows!

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Beautiful zombies

Volta NY Art Show_Asgar Gabriel zombie painting

It’s hard to ignore the work of artistic duo Asgar / Gabriel at the Volta Show. Their massive oil painting “The Living Dead 2011” reveals what the zombie apocalypse would look like it if happened at an Abercrombie store in Southern California. Sun-kissed models with perfect bodies flail half-naked across the canvas, their faces masked in garish zombie makeup. You’ll recognize their hunched-over poses from George Romero films and the hit TV show Walking Dead.

If you can’t read the German script in this painting, the artists’ Volta brochure provides a few clues as to their intentions. The artists, it explains, believe that painting itself is “a utopian entity” and are focused on capturing contrast between

“High and low, the serious and the entertaining, avant-garde and kitsch, masculinity and femininity, information and originality.”

And, apparently, living creatures and brain-eating zombies.

Nazi zombies

Fountain Art Fair_Michael X Rose nazi zombie art 02

There’s no ambiguity about the zombies in these paintings from the Fountain Art Fair; these monsters in Nazi uniforms are clearly the evil dead. Citing diverse influences like Reubens and comic book culture, artist Michael X. Rose has painted zombies, Big Foot and King Kong.

Fountain Art Fair_Michael X Rose nazi zombie art

Like many artists at the Fountain Art Fair, Rose was on hand to describe his work. He revealed that the zombie series started when he purchased landscape paintings from thrift stores and began to paint monsters into the scenes. He started with a “robot brain” killing Hitler and went from there. He paints the zombie scenes as standalone images and then later builds comic books around them.

Classical zombies

Fountain Art Fair_Shells by Don Pablo Pedro

Brooklyn gallery Mighty Tanaka has crammed a variety of intriguing (and unusual) art works into its Fountain Art Fair booth, including a miniature subway car covered in graffiti and an interactive sound machine. One piece that caught my eye was the ambiguously titled “Shells” by Don Pablo Pedro.

While not explicitly about zombies, this wall hanging portrays a blue-colored man who appears to be alive despite being stabbed by a dozen knives. Striking a pose reminiscent of Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus,” and bearing a bit of a resemblance to Jesus, this blue man could very well be the first zombie on earth. And he seems quite popular with the ladies!

What do you think of zombie art?

Whether you love or hate this latest art-world trend, share your opinion with other readers by leaving a comment below!

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About Leslie Koch

I'm a New Yorker with a passion for travel and art. I founded after returning from a year-long backpacking trip around the world. Find me on Twitter at @leslietravel.