Art by Menton3
In the year 1692, a shadow would fall over Salem, Massachusetts. What started with accusations by local girls quickly escalated into what has since been called a state of mass hysteria. Though named after the small town just north of Boston, the Salem witch trials spread across colonial America where people were executed for allegedly practicing witchcraft; 20 people were hanged, while countless others were tortured into madness. This sets the stage for “SALEM”, a collective new body of work by Menton3, David Stoupakis, and New York Times bestselling author-turned-artist Damien Echols debuting this Saturday at Copro Gallery in Los Angeles.
For painters Menton3 and David Stoupakis, who have previously exhibited together, the tragedy that occurred in Salem holds a deep meaning that has found its way into their art before. Both artists express a darkness and romance about their beautiful subjects, dressed in their usual gothic flair decorated with symbols of witchcraft. While Menton3’s images offer more direct associations to devil worship, Stoupakis requires us to evaluate his subject’s innocence, set against cabins and hanging trees, landmarks of Salem’s history.
Art by David Stoupakis
In an accompanying exhibition, Echols offers abrupt and expressive portraits of ghost-like subjects, recalling Edvard Munch’s iconic painting “The Scream”. “This body of work is designed to be a vehicle to bring magic and beauty to the world from the ashes of horror and tragedy”, he explains. Stoupakis adds: “My art develops from the human condition, and seeks to address who we are, and what we are here for. The Hand collective with Damien, Menton, and myself has solidified my growth as an artist. With Salem we aim to pay tribute to and juxtapose the beauty and grace of the fallen ones with the atrocities that happened in Salem Mass. in 1692.”