In case you missed the write-up it got in the in the Times last weekend (“The van Gogh of the Gross-Out“) or were otherwise unaware, there’s a pretty swell exhibit of Basil Wolverton’s art running at The Gladstone Gallery here in NYC.
The Wolverton material best suited to a general audience, though, may be his Bible illustrations, which he was doing in the 1950s and ’60s, concurrently with his early Mad work. In 1941 he had become a member of a Protestant sect called the Radio Church of God, later the Worldwide Church of God. He was ordained as an elder in 1943, and as his contribution to the sect he illustrated some of its apocalyptically minded publications, as well as the biblical account of the earth’s final days.
The exhibit also features selections of Wolverton’s art from Mad Magazine, “Powerhouse Pepper,” commercial illustrations, and a smorgasbord of other ick-inducing oddities. The show is only up for another week or so (August 14th), so be sure to get to it ASAP!