8 Bit Games as Art

Seamus Venus
Botticelli probably didn’t have Seamus in mind when he was thinking of Venus. “Seamus Venus,” by Misha; $400.

This isn’t exactly anime related, but it does have something to do–a lot to do–with another part of Japanese pop culture, a culture that most of you reading this have probably experienced if you’re my age or older. What am I talking about? 8-bit console games, of course! Well, the curators at Gallery Nineteen Eighty Eight, which specializes in cultural artifacts and art from that year, have an annual exhibit called I Am 8-Bit. Artists submit paintings, sculptures, and other artworks inspired by your favorite Nintendo and arcade games from the 1980s. Not all of them are quite as colorful and friendly as we might remember, though. :) Still they are selling in the hundreds of dollars!

No, it’s probably not high art. But it sure does bring back memories…albeit filtered through a twisted lens.

See the LA Times review of the show here. The gallery is in downtown Los Angeles.

Final Battle
“Final Battle,” by Blinky. $400. Shigeru Miyamoto probably wouldn’t approve.

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