Photos: Frankenstein's creation, unveiled

Emory Report | Sept. 27, 2017

Rossin's interpretation of Frankenstein's creation is a young man with long hair.

A new interpretation of Frankenstein's creation by renowned portrait artist Ross Rossin was unveiled Sept. 19 at Emory's Schwartz Center for Performing Arts. Emory Photo/Video

Emory President Claire E. Sterk spoke at the unveiling.

Emory President Claire E. Sterk spoke at the unveiling, with also kicked off FACE (Frankenstein Anniversary Celebration and Emory), a year-long, university-wide celebration of the 200th anniversary of the novel. Emory Photo/Video

Emory's Timothy Albrecht played the organ in low-lighting throughout the event to help set the mood.

Emory University organist Timothy Albrecht performed during the event, setting the mood for a discussion of Rossin's vision of the famous literary character. Emory Photo/Video

Ross Rossin and Bill Nigut sit in chairs on the stage to discuss Rossin's vision for the creation.

Rossin (right) discussed his vision for the creation with Bill Nigut, senior executive producer at Georgia Public Broadcasting. Photo by Gerard Vong.

Event attendees get close to Rossin's interpretation, discussing it and taking photos with their phones.

Rossin's son served as the model for the artist's interpretation of  the "tragic duality" of Frankenstein's creation, which was intended to be beautiful and powerful, but turned ugly and murderous. Emory Photo/Video

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Renowned portrait artist and Atlanta resident Ross Rossin unveiled his large-scale portrait of Dr. Frankenstein’s creation, described in Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel, “Frankenstein," during a public discussion Sept. 19 at the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts.

Rossin is Emory's 2017-2018 Donna and Marvin Schwartz Artist-in-Residence. His residency coincides with FACE (Frankenstein Anniversary Celebration and Emory), a year-long university-wide celebration of the 200th anniversary of the novel.

Rossin’s residency is part of the Ethics and the Arts Program at Emory’s Center for Ethics. The program, the only one of its kind in the nation, encourages ethical discourse and debate through and about the arts, and partners with arts organizations to demonstrate the way art challenges ethical perspectives.

The artist's new depiction of Frankenstein’s creation departs from the standard movie monster.

“It’s precisely Mary Shelley’s youth [age 18 when she began the novel] that inspired me to approach my subject differently,” says Rossin. “Unlike all other portrayals before, I prefer to see the Creature as a young man.”

As Rossin points out, Dr. Frankenstein intended “to create something beautiful, young, powerful and promising, like Prometheus. The Creature was supposed to have a future, open a new chapter in human history.”

Those familiar with the story know that Dr. Frankenstein’s good intentions turned ugly and murderous. Rossin says that his portrait of “Adam Frankenstein reflects exactly this kind of tragic duality. In my work the viewer should be able to see both.”

The portrait of Frankenstein's Creation is now on display in the Chace Lobby on the second floor of the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts. The building is open to the public every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and, of course, during performances.

GPB is also airing a radio story about the event on "Two Way Street," hosted by Bill Nigut. It will be posted on the Two Way Street website and is currently scheduled to be broadcast on Sunday at 11 a.m. on 88.5 FM in Atlanta.