Per the Press Release I received:
“For (New York) Comic Con attendees, it’s a can’t-miss side trip: the once-in-a-blue-moon opportunity to not only view but purchase original comic art by the master painter Simone Bianchi from Italy—art soon to be immortalized in the upcoming Marvel Masterpieces 2018 trading card collection.
Metropolis Gallery will host the Bianchi exhibit, which opens on Friday, October 5 and runs through the end of December. The trading cards, published by Upper Deck, will also be released in October.
One of the most renowned comic artists working today, Bianchi is best known in the U.S. for his work in X-Men, Avengers, Spider-Man, Thanos, Wolverine and Star Wars comics, as well as his signature watercolor and ink wash style.
‘Simone brings a certain aesthetic to everything he does,’ says Metropolis Gallery curator and owner, Vincent Zurzolo. ‘It’s distinctly European, filled with dynamic tension and a distinct mood that in-and-of-itself can only be described as Simone Bianchi.’
The Metropolis exhibit will feature more than 50 paintings from the Marvel Masterpieces 135-piece set—all on sale, with prices ranging from $2,500-$14,000. The rest of the collection will be exhibited simultaneously in Bianchi’s hometown of Lucca, Italy.
From 1992 to 2008, release of a Marvel Masterpieces card set was a highly-anticipated comic art event that showcased the work of greats such as Greg and Tim Hildebrandt. In 2016, Marvel revived the tradition—now biennial—with a new, 100-piece card set created by Joe Jusko, who also painted the original 1992 set.
The opening reception will be held Friday, October 5 from 6-9pm. It is open to the public.
Thereafter, the exhibit is open Tuesday-Friday, 11am-5pm through the end of December. As always, the gallery’s permanent exhibit also will be available for viewing, featuring art by iconic artists such as Kirby, Ditko, Frazetta, Gil Kane and Neal Adams, among others.
‘Think about it,’ says Zurzolo. ‘Here’s a rare chance to own an original piece of art featuring your favorite Marvel hero or villain—and it’s also a trading card, too.’
‘I’ve long been a fan of the contemporary Italian comic painters. The chance to represent Simone’s work is quite a thrill for me on a personal and professional level.’
Metropolis Gallery is located at 36 West 37th Street, 6th Floor, a 10-minute stroll from the Javits Center and Comic Con.
Metropolis Gallery is the creation of Metropolis Collectibles, the world’s largest vintage comic collectibles dealer. Together with its online auction house, ComicConnect.com, it has an evolving inventory of more than 150,000 collectibles and holds five Guinness World Records.”
Interview with Vincent Zurzolo:
What initially started your love for comics?
Before I could even read I loved looking at the colorful pics of these fantastic characters.
How did you get more into the vintage comic collecting and what’s your favorite aspect to them?
I collected as a child and at the age of 15 starting buying and selling them. My favorite aspect would be the amazing great stories and art which let you escape into a different world.
With the growing number of conventions, comic films, and spread of cosplay, how do you feel about comics becoming so mainstream?
The more people that love and appreciate comics the better. It makes me happy to see more and more people enjoy comic books.
What was your inspiration to create the art exhibit in the Metropolis Gallery?
I always loved the idea of treating comic art with the same respect as “fine art”. Maybe it was seeing Unbreakable and Mr. Glass’s comic art gallery… who knows.
For this exhibit, since it’s over New York Comic Con weekend and I cater to the cosplay community, are fans welcome to visit in costume?
Absolutely. Last year we had a Walking Dead art gallery show and had a zombie cosplayer roaming the gallery all evening.