I was born in Brooklyn to a family for whom snake oil and sideshows were normal. My fatherís family was involved in Coney Island at the turn of the 20th century; my grandfather was acting battalion chief of the Coney Island District until his death in 1924. My Uncles Harry and Guy were at Dreamland the night of the fire. I have an uncle buried in the Gravesend Cemetery. My father claimed he never got out of the 6th grade because he was too busy watching the horses cross the finish line at the Gravesend track. My Uncle Lester was the talker for the Dreamland Circus Sideshow in the 1920ís.
 
My earliest memory is sipping Nathanís coffee from my fatherís cup, sitting between my parents in the DeSoto parked on Stillwell Avenue. So immersed was I in the old stories Zip What Is It and The Armless and Legless Wonder were palpably real to me, no matter that they were deceased many years by the time I was born. Peopled with ghosts and memories, there is no place in Coney Island that is totally mine, except for Coney Island USA.
 
That not for profit arts center is a haven where both sides of my life can co exist Ė the academic and the sideshow. It is the only place in the earth where I feel back at home, with my (deceased) family and my (alive) sideshow family gathered around. Coney Island USA lets me paint as much as I want. The corner of West 12th and Surf is a testament to my family, and a challenge to my present as an artist.

 


 

 

Sideshow World by Marie Roberts
 


Black Scoprion 2008 Mme. Twisto 2008 Serpentina 2008 Sword Swallower Electre 2008 Blockhead 2008

Banners 2009 Coney Island 2009 Coney Island Coney Island Coney Island Marie Roberts

Donny Vomit 2008 Scott Baker 2009 Scott Baker 2009 Scott Baker 2009 Krissy Koctail  2009 Krissy Koctail  2009

Serpentina 2007 Angelica Master of the Bally Sword Swallower 2007 Wolf Man Chuy Dick

Freak Show Coney Island 2003 Congress of Curious People Insectavora Sideshow by the Seashore Diamond Donny 2007

Jackie Human Tripod Maximum Risk Roast Dick Creep Show Wah What ?

       

 

 

Black Scoprion 2008 Mme. Twisto 2008 Serpentina 2008 Sword Swallower Electre 2008 Blockhead 2008

 

Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey commissioned Marie Roberts to paint the above painting to commemorate the 2009 season in Coney Island, the first tent show since 1954.  The painting will be hang in their New York City office.

 




bitterwonder@hotmail.com        www.bitterwonder.com

 

Images courtesy of Marie Roberts

Norman Blake © All rights reserved

Laure Lieber © All rights reserved


 Sideshow Art Gallery   Return To Top   Back to Main

 

All photos are the property of their respective owners whether titled or marked anonymous.

"Sideshow WorldTM" is the sole property of John Robinson © All rights reserved.

sideshowworld.com  sideshowworld.org  sideshowworld.net  sideshowworld.biz  sideshowworld.info

is the sole property of John Robinson © All rights reserved.

 E-Mail Sideshow World     E-Mail The Webmaster