Themed-art shows are popping up in galleries these days.
Gallery 1988, in Los Angeles, just wrapped a show dedicated to the 1985 movie classic, Clue, and Vancouver’s Hot Art Wet City gallery recently held We’re All Pretty Bizarre, dedicated to the work of John Hughes, complete with paintings of a young Macaulay Culkin and an old John Candy.
The Echo Park gallery iam8bit held It’s the shizNICK in 2013, a show paying homage to the Nickelodeon network and shows like The Ren and Stimpy Show, Real Monsters, and Hey Dude.
Perhaps most amazing is New York-based gallery Marlborough Chelsea, which recently held an art show dedicated entirely to Space Jam, complete with a basketball court painted on the gallery floor and hoops mounted throughout the exhibit.
These shows remind us of the days when Siskel and Ebert were the authority on movies, and we didn’t have to endlessly discuss and debate best or worst.
They’re reminders of what life was like before we had the Internet to argue about whether Bill was cooler than Ted, or how stupid people were that they couldn’t realize Bernie was dead that entire weekend.
When I watched Clue obsessively, it wasn’t so that I could tweet out scenes when Tim Curry was at his best (this would be near the end of the movie, when he solves the crime).
I didn’t watch it to tweet about how Lee Ving is a better singer than he is actor and then link to a YouTube video of Fear playing SNL and hashtag #MinorThreat or #Flea.
It was merely to enjoy the ridiculousness of a dinner partyturned-murder-investigation and watch Christopher Lloyd perfectly recreate Professor Plum.
Old movies, like so many other things, are wonderful reminders of the past. So much of what is celebrated today is rehashed from previous eras.
Once in a while, it’s nice to celebrate the original product in its original era. Forget what metecritic or imdb have to say about it.
Rather than tweet about the new Jurassic Park, why not celebrate Jeff Goldblum in the ‘90s, a decade in which he was in over 20 films? Why not just enjoy Keanu Reeves in Speed and call it a day?
To celebrate all things ‘90s, I’m organizing a ‘90s Movies art show at Baked Café, set to take place in January, 2016.
The show will be called Fargo F*ck Yourself or The Baked Lebowski or Point Baked or Half Baked (actual movie name!) or Might Club (an ode to plan shopping and the all-too-commonly-heard, “I might go”).
Submissions are now being accepted. Sales from the show will go directly to the artists, so I encourage anyone with an interest in art to submit something.
Perhaps a remake of JacquesLouis David’s famous painting Napoleon Crossing the Alps, but with Vince Vaughn’s character from Swingers riding the horse as the bright lights of Las Vegas burn in the background.
Perhaps a portrait of Winona Ryder as she appears in Reality Bites, which was surprisingly directed by Ben Stiller.
You can paint the kid from Richard Linklater’s classic Slacker, as he leaps at the Coke machine and kicks it to get a can of pop, all the while sporting his B COOL shirt.
Better yet, one could paint our good friends Andy Dufresne (played by Tim Robbins) and Red (played by Morgan Freeman) as they create a lifelong friendship at the Shawshank Redemption Center in rural Maine.
As Baked is a location that attracts families, tourists, and more, painting your favourite scene from Kids or any number of the blood-soaked shots from any Tarantino movie probably isn’t the best idea.
Also, please don’t paint something from some obscure ‘90s limited-release German movie that you watched while studying philosophy in southern Ontario. Nobody wants that.
Just think about what the winter tourists will say when they walk into Baked and see a mesmerizing portrait of Keyser Söze. They’ll wonder what kind of metropolis Whitehorse has become, and be struck with the endless talent of such a small place.
Perhaps a husband and wife from California will talk to a couple from North Carolina about how Nicolas Cage filmed Raising Arizona in their town, and they’ll sit down and share their favourite Coen brothers films with each other.
They’ll talk about seeing The Big Lebowski at a drive-in for the fi rst time, and being amazed. Finally, after all that, they’ll tweet about it.
Anyone interested in submitting work for the show can contact me at darrensusin@gmail. com.