Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Iam8bit believes…do you? An X-files Art Show

by Gregory Bent

          Thursday, February 4th was the premier of Conspiracies, Monsters & Mythology: An X-files Art Show at the popular Iam8Bit gallery on Sunset Blvd. Upon entering and passing by the line of avid “X-Files” fans outside, I walked into a small gallery room that housed about 8 pieces. The pieces were beautifully illustrated and mostly featured agents Scully and Mulder but some I could tell were deep cuts from episodes I have not seen. 
         Moving forward, passing by the register, I was surprised to find that the gallery opened up into an almost “Fantasy Factory” like studio space in the back. This space housed the rest of the 23 pieces, couches for lounging, a complementary bar, and a projector that had X-files episodes playing on the back wall. In the background they, of course, had the eerie X-files theme playing. 

                   Finally, back in the first room, opposite the 8 illustrations, was an arrangement of collectable items that any reader of this site would be excited to buy such as Hyrule themed playing cards, The Imperial Stormtroopers Handbook, and X-files themed coloring books. I , personally, had my eye on the “Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number” OST vinyl. One thing that surprised me was how reasonably priced some of the larger prints were. Standard poster sized prints would be priced around $50, which is a steal seeing as your getting something that’s on a limited run.

I spoke with the staff and they told me that the gallery owners were fans of the show. What fascinated me was the fact that each one of the pieces of art hanging on the wall was commissioned for this show specifically. The gallery owners pick artists they like and have them do prints for their upcoming shows.
          While the event was not 21+, the majority of the crowd were in their late 20’s to mid 30’s. Which makes sense seeing as how the show was at the top of its popularity in the mid 90’s. It is safe to say that the exhibit benefited from the shows new reboot on television, but there were no specific promotional materials there telling me to “tune-in”. From the conversations I had, the majority of the crowd really were die-hard X-files fans. An hour and a half into the event, after the majority of people had browsed all of the pieces; the gallery started selling a lot of their “collectible” products. People lounged on the couches, drank Charles Shaw wine, and drank foamy beer (their Pabst Blue Ribbon Keg wasn’t tapped properly). From the conversations I had with attendees this was one Iam8bits’ smaller events with one attendee stating that there is “usually a line around the corner” for the complementary drinks.
Leaving the show I realized that I had not given “The X-files” enough credit over my 26 years. The excitement surrounding the reboot was very much in the air. My biggest take away was learning a little bit about the strong X-Files sub culture in the Los Angeles community. This was definitely an experience for me, and even though I am not the biggest x-files fan there was fun to be had by all attending because Iam8bit does such a great job of hosting events such as these. I left with one question ringing in my head “Do you believe?”

Conspiracies, Monsters & Mythology: An X-files Art Show
 Ongoing until February 14
2147 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90026
Check gallery hours