Ray Villafane's PumpkInspiration

The first time I saw pumpkin soup served in a carved-out pumpkin bowl, I thought pumpkin carving had reached its evolutionary end. But with a series of recent and deserved accolades everywhere from a NY Botanical Garden to the Wall Street Journal, Ray Villafane has breathed new life into the old, triangle cut-out craft.

Villafane, whose works range from DC comic heroes to sand and pumpkin sculptures, is a master at the kind of dark humor that is perfect for Halloween. And although his work has comic notes, its skillfulness demands that he be taken seriously. The last time I was as transfixed by another's carvings as I am by Villafane's, I was standing outside Paris' Gates of Hell. Perhaps Villafane should work on an orange version of the famed entryway next.

Rodin just might rise from the dead. Happy Halloween!

Find It: Villafane paraphernalia, $19 and up at Villafane Studios

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(Images: Ray Villafane)