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.

Author: gendomike

Michael lives in the Los Angeles area, and has been into anime since he saw Neon Genesis Evangelion in 1999. Some of his favorite shows include Full Metal Alchemist, Honey and Clover, and Welcome to the NHK!. Since 2003 he has gone to at least one anime convention every year. A public radio junkie, which naturally led to podcasting, he now holds a seminary degree and is looking to become Dr. Rev. Otaku Bible Man any day now. Michael can be reached at mike.huang@animediet.net. You can also find his Twitter account at @gendomike.