Art Break: Victorian Curiosities by Travis Louie

Through the use of highly detailed paintings that look like vintage photographs, artist Travis Louie transports us to an alternate universe during the Victorian age populated with creatures and mutants.

Here are some choice beings below:

Sometime in the late 1850s, after an unusually long, hard rain, a strange figure pulled himself out of the ground and began terrorizing a small mining town in Northern California. It wasn’t so much that he actually physically hurt anyone, . . .it was his unusual appearance combined with his high-pitched cackling and near constant mumbling, which caused such a strong vibration, it rattled window panes and interrupted many a conversation. He was nick-named “Rooty” because of the long root-like tendrils that protruded from the top of his misshapen head and the strong scent of ginseng that came from his body.

Reports of a slow-moving little man with a very large head and glazed over eyes came from Kingston, New York in the 1890’s. At first, he was thought to be part of the undead wandering around with a slow moan. He actually was a man who the locals called Jones. He was a constant sleepwalker. He once sleep walked for almost 27 years,  only “dosing “ into consciousness to avoid obstacles in his path. He once woke up in 1896 on Warren Street and uttered the word “Plugh”, looked around, and then fell back into his sleepwalking march, which took him from route downtown Kingston all the way to the Rondout and back again.

Not much is known about Gill. He first appeared at Coney Island, working at Luna Park as an extra in the Aquacade show. His co-workers found him to be extremely kind, generous, and always a good laugh. When the park burned down, it was assumed that he met his demise. He reappeared just before the building of the 1964 Worlds Fair in Flushing, New York. He walked out of Flushing Bay and immediately went to Main St. to have a hot dog and an ice cream soda. He was last seen in the upper deck at Shea Stadium during the 1986 World Series between the New York Mets and the Boston Red Sox. He had a hot dog and a beer.

The Vamp
Her name was Eva, . . . she traveled from Scotland in 1864 and settled in Queens, NY. She loved music and she loved to dance. She disappeared in 1894 and reappeared in the in a WW II USO tour. She was last seen on a 1967 television variety show as a back-up dancer with Joey Heatherton.

You can see more of these curiosities on Travis Louie’s official site or check out the link to his book below.