Los Angeles, CA – If you were born in the mid-70’s to early 80’s, there’s probably one thing that you remember fondly from your childhood (ok, maybe there’s three if you include Saturday morning cartoons and the scrambled porn channel)- video games. If you, like me, came out of the womb clutching a keyboard and joystick, and constantly look back on all those great games you played back in the day, then the annual iam8bit Art Show is your ticket to refined nostalgia in the eyes of nerds just like you and I, who happen to also be extremely talented artists.
As implied by its namesake, the show focuses on art mainly from the Atari to NES area of 8-bit games, so most gamers will be familiar with the subjects displayed in the works- Mega Man, Mario, Q-bert, Galaga, the Skate or Die kid, Metroid, and of course Pac Man. I’m not much of an art guy so I won’t pretend I noticed the sophistication of an artists’ brush strokes or how a piece spoke to me and its hidden commentary on the effects of capitalism on newborn babies in Zimbabwe. All I can say is that I enjoyed going through the exhibit and was thoroughly impressed with some of the details that these artists put into their work. My favorite pieces would probably be the huge Mario mural (main pic) and the Dr. Mario/Princess upskirt figurine (yes, I’m a perv).
Overall, I am pleased to see video games being taken seriously as an important social medium, despite its negative stereotypes portrayed by the older generation. It is through shows like this that maybe some day, people will understand how much of a positive impact games have had on our generation, and its cultural impact to society as it is today. I for one, will not deny how glad I am to have been brought up on video games, and to have dedicated people create such games. If it wasn’t for video games, I probably would have never known what a “dirge” was, nor heard such beautiful compositions by amazing artists like Nobuo Uematsu.
I’m hoping that the iam8bit art show will continue developing and hopefully branch out to newer generations of video games, but for now, this is it- you owe it to yourself as a gamer to browse through the gallery and enjoy the art.
For more information, you can visit http://iam8bit.com/
Also, each piece is available for sale! –Dave Luong, Madlight Media