Studio Proof: Tony Simione shines in the new Gallery at the Gateway

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

By Jesse Tigges

The Gateway Film Center recently debuted its first exhibit in the newly created gallery space (titled the Gallery at the Gateway) located in the hallway connecting the screening rooms. The inaugural exhibit “Not Human — Creatures in Film” is appropriately movie-themed and features the work of local artist and toy developer Tony Simione.

More than a dozen multi-media pieces from Simione are hung on the walls or situated in glass cases, and feature iconic film creatures of all types. Childhood favorites like Raphael from “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (pictured), Skeksil from “The Dark Crystal” and a “Labyrinth” goblin are spot-on three-dimensional sculptures. Paintings and illustrations of Jason Voorhees, Stripe from “Gremlins” and Pan from Guillermo del Toro’s visual masterpiece “Pan’s Labyrinth” hang on the walls. All movie fans should peruse Simione’s work. They’ll be glad they did.

I was most impressed — aside from the wonderful concept of a gallery inside a campus movie theater — with Simione’s expert execution of a vast array of styles.

The three-dimensional sculptures are truly dead-on re-creations that’ll have every hardcore fan/collector salivating, but the two-dimensional works are where I was most captivated.

Simione’s depictions of Jason, or Pinhead from “Hellraiser,” are light, almost adorable re-creations of two of horror’s most renowned killers. Another playful interpretation is gremlin Stripe, despite the piece actually illustrating the moment Stripe gets reinforcements, resulting in absolute mayhem. Besides the stylishly designed renderings, Simione has some striking, large-scale paintings — the “Pan” piece being an absolute standout.

Many of the works inside the Gallery at the Gateway are sold, but prints of most two-dimensional pieces are available for sale.

“Not Human — Creatures in Film” will be on display for a three-month run (after launching Jan. 9), and the Gateway has planned for three more three-month-long exhibits this year — all oriented around film. Entry to the gallery is free with the purchase of a movie ticket.

[Photo credit: Tony Simione]