Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Sean Clarity, Peter Gronquist, Gabe Swarr
(click image for full-sized version)

Another day, another reason to move to Los Angeles. Gallery Nineteen Eighty-Eight, located at 7020 Melrose Ave. in L.A., is hosting the second annual I AM 8-BIT exhibition, and... wow. The first series was pretty neat, but this new one is amazing. So much videogame love.

Michael Gagne, Martin Ontiveros
(click image for full-sized version)

The list of contributors is a veritable who's-who of the contemporary pop surrealism scene: Tim Biskup, Steve Purcell, Jim Mahfood, Luke Chueh, Gary Baseman, Brandon Bird, and dozens more. Who knew that Nintendo was so universal and profoundly influential? Most works draw their inspiration either from the NES roster (Super Mario Bros, Megaman, Metroid) or from the earlier Atari era (Pacman, Asteroids, Donkey Kong,) with few if any references beyond the late '80s. A handful even comment on the nature of videogaming itself.

Jose Emroca Flores, Love Ablan, Yosuke Ueno
(click image for full-sized version)

If you live in or near L.A., you could do worse than to plan a visit to Nineteen Eighty-Eight this weekend. If you don't, you're still in luck. The first I AM 8-BIT collection has been collected and recently published by Chronicle Books, and is readily available at At under $15 USD, the book is stupidly affordable and you really owe it to yourself to add it to your own library.

Link: I AM 8-BIT website.
Link: Gallery Nineteen Eighty-Eight.
Link: I AM 8-BIT: Art Inspired by Classic Videogames of the '80s at Amazon.

(note: All above photos were originally posted at Vinyl Pulse, an art blog which I heartily endorse and recommend. I cropped them and did some other minor tweaks for presentation's sake but all credit goes to Vinyl Pulse and the original photographer.)