Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Gaming in the Gallery Gets You Feeling Nostalgic

A father was teaching his two daughters Tetris behind me as I was titling my head to Kevin Jay Stanton's "Subcon Amalgam" a piece based on Super Mario Bros. 2. "You see, if you turn it this way the shape will fit...," the father told his daughters. Arcade machines to the left of me, video game tribute art to the right and a big screen, not yet lowered to play the Wii with. All this was for Hero Complex Gallery's latest show, "Gaming in the Gallery" open Dec 5-Dec 28. Mushrooms, Princesses, Pac-Man and Master Chief was yet again immortalized in art from sprawled against the wall in a myriad of colors and parody art. Special prints and one of pieces are available. Check out the collection online.

The almost hidden gallery was open to us the second day of the exhibit with a scant amount of people from what Bonnie Bozell, an employee at the gallery, told me compared to the opening night before. "It was a really big success," she started saying. She continued, "It was pact all night and we extended are time we usually close at around 10(pm) , but we didn't... I didn't see the last people get out at 11:30 (pm)."

Links House by Munch
I asked her what caught everyone's eye. She replied, pointing down from us, "The Dark Inker", the Link one down there, the green and gold screen print...well, actually you know the shadow box piece, "Links House" (by Munch), that was made by one of the artist from our inner circle of the family here...it's really cool."

When I asked about the arcade games that were played the most, "The Pac-Man were packed," she said. But every arcade machine was loved including The Simpsons and an extra loud Terminator Pinball machine. "People came up to me and said, 'I never even knew there was a Donkey Kong Jr., " Bonnie continued.

That opening night a big screen was down at the back of the gallery where games were projected and played with Wii controllers. Gaming was going on everywhere in a celebration, which makes sense as it was also the galleries Christmas party.

Favorites of TTDILA include two by Matthew Rabalais "Goldeneye"and it's variant which has the characters in the same scene with the cheats of big head and paintball mode on.

There were pieces with love for Link, Street Fighter, Mega Man and even a strange meld of movie and game. "Super Blues Bros." on velvet by Trent Lawson with Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia took the cake as strangest piece we saw. "Oh my G-d, it's not an Elvis painting and it's on velvet," Bonnie said as we went over pieces. Bonnie hadn't had a chance to really look through them at that point and said she'd be admiring the art over the weekend.

You can admire the wonderful new video game tribute collection over this December. The arcade machines might have gone home, so best call first if you want to play and buy a piece.

To think, in two weeks we have Super Smash Holiday! at Q2 in Little Tokyo. Give the gift of great game art this holiday season, you have many choices.