Wesley Casola shares memories of growing up in Coney Island in the 1950s and '60s. The son of artist Dan Casola (1902-1990), he recalls his father building the Spook-A-Rama Cyclops in their yard and making figures for The World in Wax Musee. His father had a studio In their home on Stillwell Avenue between Mermaid and Neptune as well as a secret studio behind Spook-A-Rama, where Wesley and his sister Patricia would bring him lunch. Wesley describes the details of his father's work as a freelance artist and the construction of the Cyclops. "It'd be nice for him to get some credit for it," he says.
Artist Dan Casola moved to Arizona in the late 1970s and was in his eighties when he passed away in 1990. Remembered as a highly regarded painter of sideshow banners, the fact that he did work for Spook-A-Rama and the World in Wax Musee remained unknown until now. The Cyclops along with documentation of the artist who created the iconic sculpture and its mesmerizing human eye will be on the display at the Coney Island History Project this season.