Gallery 1988 is quite the place, a Los Angeles-based art gallery beautifully populated by retro-modernist takes on a lot of the stuff we’re interested in here. Currently running at their Melrose location is Aled Lewis’ Such Pixels, a collection of video game-inspired interpretations of films, TV shows and celebrity feuds. L.A. residents can view the exhibit till March 1, but those of us who aren’t there can take a look at some of the highlights, like this hilarious take on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia as filtered through a Final Fight-style beat-’em-up.
The frame is very busy and packed with arcane callbacks to some of the show’s funniest moments, like Sweet Dee in her Aluminum Monster gear, Charlie having a cheese 1-up in clear sight as he fights for The Waitress in distress, and Frank, as his “Trashman” wrestling gimmick, slitting Rickety Cricket’s throat with a garbage can (sans the graphic and profuse bloodletting). You’ve even got the egotistical Mac with the high score and Dennis equipped with a Thor-esque hammer to fend off those dastardly McPoyles.
I want this to be a reality terribly. To be able to use the “shot gun” to make enemies too drunk to fight, have rum ham and steroid power-ups, fight boss fights as the Birds of War with Da Maniac against the McPoyles in a wrestling match, or a Russian roulette bonus round with the Koreans. There is so much going on here and so much you could bend your imagination with. Bravo. Framed prints are sold out, but for $100, you can get a signed, 36 x 24-inch print, limited and numbered to 50, of this bad boy. That’s not the only great bit Lewis has contributed:
Hot Rod reinterpreted through Excitebike.
Thelma and Louise’s last stand, ironically and amusingly reconfigured as an homage to Sega’s arcade non-racing favorite Outrun.
Forrest Gump’s college football glory with all of the pixelated confusion of Tecmo Bowl.
Surprisingly, the Rocky series never got a game on the NES. There was one for the Sega Master System, but never on the more popular NES. Here, we get an idea of what could have been had Rocky IV come from the Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! makers.
Parks and Recreation and 30 Rock, respectively, given niche gags new life as 16-bit actioners. Love the font on the Bert Macklin one, and the White House in the background. I bet Bitch Hunter would have been an MA-17 right off the bat with the title.That Groundhog Day game where you fought Ned Ryerson that you never got to play? Here.
Feuds for electricity, late-night talk shows and computers, all redone as fighting game title cards.
On March 7, Gallery 1988 unveils this, just in time for WrestleMania:
Should be awesome, to say the least.