It should come as no surprise that Wes Anderson’s aura of quirky cool cinema has permeated into the visual art sphere. His highly stylized worlds and the captivating characters that inhabit them palpably kick and scream for creative reimagining. It also does not hurt that he attracts a fan base as arty as himself.
Recognizing this, San Francisco based gallery Spoke Art brought together the work of over 70 artists last week in a communal tribute to indie cinema’s most cultish icon. Around 100 pieces were on view and for sale, drastically spanning the spectrum in material, style, and price – cartooned card decks and wearable T-shirts were available for $20, while some prints solicited several thousands. The subject matter however did not stray far from the idiosyncrasies of Anderson’s eight feature length films.
Not a new show by any means, the “Bad Dads” pop-up (named for the “daddy issues” theme that pervaded Anderson’s work) celebrated its 6th installment this summer. However it was New York’s first time playing host, as Spoke Art brought the twee vibes over to Joseph Gross Gallery in the densely populated Chelsea arts district. Naturally the city’s first show commanded 60,000+ RSVP’s on its Facebook event and tickets sold out in a matter of days. Those dedicated fans lucky enough to snag a pass to the Thursday opening reception came out in fully costumed force, making for a visually vibrant evening all around. Margot Tenenbaum’s sporting heavy liner, anthropomorphic foxes, and red capped Steve Zissou’s came to life both on the walls and floor as the featured artists’ talents merged with audience members’ own original interpretations. The only character missing that evening was Anderson himself, but his contagious style successfully roused his home city and its residents nonetheless.
“Bad Dads VI” took place Thursday, 8/6 through Sunday, 8/9, but the exhibition is available online on Spoke Art’s website starting Monday, 8/17.
Writing by Lisa Marsova
Photographs by Angela Jang