Meet the Butcher Kings
by Perry Michael Simon on October 5, 2011
How can we get you to see an art show if we can’t show you any of the art? Hmm. Well, we can try:
Alex Pardee and Skinner are artists. They have a two-artist show, “The Butcher Kings,” opening in Los Angeles coming up at Gallery 1988 Melrose in Los Angeles Thursday (October 6th) through the 29th. Alex calls it “a visual stand-up comedy show,” because, he says, the art is like a series of one-panel jokes. And that’s pretty much the case. The artists say that in an era when instant criticism on the Internet makes artists hyperaware of making art to please others, they “missed creating art with the sole purpose of making ourselves smile and laugh. We missed not caring if we ‘lose a follower’ by confusing someone with a drawing of VIKKI from Small Wonder or offending someone with a drawing of a demonic dick if that dick was fun to draw. And trust us, dicks are fun to draw. And they’re hilarious.”
Now, Alex is trying not to give away too much about the art, so we can’t show you samples — they want you to see everything at once to suck you into the whole collection — but I can tell you who the artists list as inspiration for their work: The Far Side, Jack Kirby, Wheel of Fortune, Carrot Top, Filmation cartoons, Robot Chicken, and Aqua Teen Hunger Force. I see some Basil Wolverton and Ed “Big Daddy” Roth in there, too. Maybe a little Faces of Death. Alex and Skinner describe the result as “what would happen if all of a sudden the memories of every pop culture property had begun to be torn apart by an unknown force and, in order to save the memories from total eradication, had to be gathered, reassembled and possibly even pushed off of a cliff by someone who was goofy, cynical, socially inept and slightly insane. That person… is us.”
So you get artwork that involves, among others, Biggie Smalls, Mickey Mouse, Ashton Kutcher, Asmodeus, and Barney the Dinosaur, as you’ve never even imagined them. Or maybe you have, but that would make you a very disturbing person. It’s like an all-you-can-eat pop culture entrails buffet. Yes, it’s all very graphic and very inappropriate for kids or sensitive folks, and I really wish I could post some of them so you could see what I mean. Can’t, but you can see the collection at the show. And the paintings are for sale, ranging from $300 to $1,000. Anyway, you can see some of the artists’ other work here and here and read more from Alex’s blog here.
Oh, and here’s a testimonial from Aqua Teen Hunger Force co-creator Matt Maiellaro: “The Butcher Kings is fucking hilarious. This show is the most fleshtacular event of the decade. It does for the mind what meat does for teeth!”
The opening reception is Thursday, October 6th at 7 pm and there’s free admission. The show runs through the 29th at Gallery 1988 Melrose, 7020 Melrose Avenue in L.A.
Meet them, sort of: