Sketches of Wretches
The Macabre Takes a Holiday in T. Jeffferson Carey’s Sketches of Wretches
Pen, ink and watercolor works highlight the humor and humanity behind the horror
TAOS, NM (March 26, 2004)— Goodzilla, a scaly green dragon with a sensitive side, reacts in horror from the fear he has caused. A family of zombies stands in a graveyard tenderly holding the orphaned baby they have adopted. An intricately drawn monster, missing a hand and foot, seems at once fierce yet forlorn.
These are the drawings of T. Jefferson Carey, artist, actor, playwright and theatrical designer who has recently returned to Taos and this April opens Sketches of Wretches, Theatrical Glimpses of Whimsy & Angst at the Northside Bean.
Carey has moved back to Taos to work with the design team of the Taos-based Sign Guy after eight years in Chicago on staff at Scenic View, Inc., a sign and scene shop with clients that run the gamut from Six Flags, McDonald’s, and Playboy, to The Museum of Science and Technology and the Joffrey Ballet.
A denizen of the theatre world since his Denver high school days, Carey went on to earn an MFA from the NYU Department of Drama (having studied at the Stella Adler Conservatory) and was the first playwriting student at the National Theatre Conservatory in Denver. He has designed sets for more than 20 productions in New York and Chicago and recently collaborated on the set for the Old Taos Players production of Ooma’s Ladder.
Sketches of Wretches is curated from the theatrically inspired drawings he has stockpiled for the past 20 years. “I’ve always been drawn to portraying strong emotion,” says Carey, “creating characters that could exist in a world big enough to include humor and darkness. I like the viewer to wonder, is it scary or funny? Is it frightful or whimsical?” Juxtaposing a severe pen and ink style with often-absurd settings, Carey pulls off both.