And that's essentially what this is, a celebration. From a critical standpoint, its most successful pieces are those that transpose Lovecraft's already difficult material into similarly challenging visual fields, as in Clayton Cameron's hauntingly black-on-black ink-and-gel portraits or Christian Matzke's sculptures and woodcuts, which seem convincingly on-loan from that other world itself. The fantastic interpretations of the rather fishy-looking people of Innsmouth, impressively rendered in colored ink works by both Carrie-Anne Vinette and Souliere, tease out another of the show's broader themes, specifically that a writer so helped the progress of the human mind that he still inspires gloriously unique and unthinkable images in artists working nearly 100 years later. If there isn't a moral to be found there, I don't know where else to find one.

"LOVECRAFT: A DARKER KEY," mixed media group exhibition | through May 1 | Sanctuary Tattoo and Art Gallery, 31 Forest Ave, Portland | 207.828.8866 |  sanctuarytattoo.com

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