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Crazy 4 Cult: Movie Art 2, Gallery 1988 (Review)

30/12/2013 11:53 GMT | Updated 27/02/2014 10:59 GMT

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Since it opened, Gallery 1988 has become a fixture in the Los Angeles contemporary art world for those in the know. The city has a mushrooming Pop Art scene with tattooists and car mechanics transferring their skills to canvas and camera - as well as the city walls.

Crazy 4 Cult marks the second selection of movie-themed art and there are some stand-out pieces featured here. Movies used as reference points include Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange, The Wizard of Oz, Easy Rider, Edward Scissorhands, The Princess Bride, Back to The Future and John Hughes' The Breakfast Club, as well as the David Lynch TV series Twin Peaks. Interestingly, there are no art works based on any film made in the past decade - which in itself is a comment on the kinds of films Hollywood now makes. I can't imagine any artists being particularly inspired by the likes of Thor, Fast & Furious 6 or Richard Curtis' About Time.

The artists included use a variety of medium, from felt to watercolours. Here you'll find Bennett Slater's striking oil on wood Ghostbuster portraits, "Terrified Beyond the Capacity for Rational Thought", Shannon Bonatakis' disquieting portraits from The Neverending Story and Labyrinth, and Matt Taylor's "Nobody Rides For Free", a portrait of a surfer wearing a Ronald Reagan mask riding the waves, inspired by the Katherine Bigelow movie Point Break. While the cover features Tom Whagen's "Room 237", inspired by Jack Nicholson's character in The Shining. Among my favourites are DKNG's "Your Wish Is Granted", a screenprint inspired by the movie Big and based on the sequence that sees Tom Hanks' character play Chopsticks on a giant "floor" piano in a toy store. With Andrew Wilson's "Various", you can play spot the movie reference. And I thought Lauren Gregg's "Be Excellent To Each Other", inspired of course by Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, especially playful and curiously uplifting. A fitting addition to any wall.

For those new to this world, this book makes an excellent introduction and for collectors, this should point you in the right direction for your next acquisition.

My only quibble with this anthology is the pointless introduction by actor Seth Rogen, which isn't worth the paper it's printed on.

Crazy 4 Cult: Movie Art 2, Gallery 1988, £24.99, is published by Titan Books