You’d think that Adam West would be sick of Batman by now. But at 88 years old, the once and future Caped Crusader is still traveling to fan conventions, doing voiceover work for the recent Batman: Return Of The Caped Crusaders animated movie, and basically riding this thing out as long as he possibly can. Even when he’s at home in Sun Valley, Idaho, he’s thinking about Batman—and he has a series of Batman-themed paintings going up at a gallery to prove it.
Local paper Idaho Mountain Express quotes West as saying, “Batman was a colorful and wild ride. My paintings capture the humor, zaniness and depth of the Batman villains as well as the Freudian motivations of Batman as an all-too-human, venerable and funny vigilante superhero.” They also suggest that West may have been influenced by the psychedelic zeitgeist of the ’60s, showing Batman villains (and caped canine companion Ace The Bat-Dog) in abstract, melting shapes and bright colors. The Joker one is especially trippy:
West has been a fine artist as well as an actor and Batusi instructor for decades now, although he only started displaying his work publicly in the past few years, after people began to truly appreciate the Batman TV series’ campy charms. “Unlike what some of the critics said about Batman, people are catching up. Kids love it and adults laugh along at it—it’s theater of the absurd,” West says.
The exhibit, “Criminals on Canvas,” opens tonight at Gilman Contemporary in Ketchum, Idaho; it runs through December 22, with West himself making an appearance at a reception tomorrow night. Prints of West’s work will be available for sale along with original paintings; contact information for the gallery is listed below, if you still need a last-minute gift for the Bat-fan in your life.