Temple Bates: Hermoddities Conundrum Press, 2011
Who are the Hermoddities? They look and look. Why not challenge them, confuse them? Are these creatures medieval or futuristic, children or old men? Hermetic oddities, hermaphrodites. Sometimes cute, sometimes cruel. Hermoddities is a lively collection of comics and oil paintings created by Toronto based artist Temple Bates. This collection of work spans over ten years and includes two collaborative stories drawn with Winnipeg artist Drue Langlois, formerly of The Royal Art Lodge. Within these pages exists an extraordinary world made up of furry oddities, anthropomorphs and omnipotent creatures. Why not pay them a visit? There will be no unpleasantness about it at all.
“The sensibility has me fuddling back through my memories for drawings by Dr. Seuss, whose creations, like those in a Bates painting, look uncannily like self-portraits with fur added. Bates takes figures from childhood imaginings — sea monsters, wooly toy-creatures, over-sized facial features — and puts them in the context of classical portraiture and naturalist landscape. This synthesis, I believe, encapsulates one of the major dialogues in modern art we’re having today about maturity and youth.” — Lee Henderson