The first time I encountered Wes Anderson, I was seven years old. The Royal Tenenbaums was on and my mother was desperately trying to watch it while making sure I didn’t see or hear anything inappropriate. It lasted all of five minutes before the channel was changed but I remember being fascinated by the colors. Fast forward to Sunday, August 9, 2015, I’m walking through the summer heat to West 28th and 11th to go to the Joseph Gross Gallery in New York City to experience Bad Dads, also known as the sixth annual Wes Anderson art show, created by Spoke Art.
After a flight of stairs, visitors find themselves in a small gallery of two rooms filled with original art all inspired by Anderson’s movies. Instantly, I noticed that Margot Tenenbaum was the muse for most people. Besides the constant stare of Margot, I was happy to see the faces of Pagoda (The Royal Tenenbaums), Agatha of The Grand Budapest Hotel, Sam Shakusky (Moonrise Kingdom), and many more beloved characters.
Though The Royal Tenenbaums is my personal favorite movie of all time, I was disappointed to see a lack of art referencing to Rushmore and Bottle Rocket. I will admit, I have never seen Bottle Rocket, The Life Aquatic with Steven Zissou, and The Darjeeling Limited, however, each of these movies have specific signifiers that people can recognize that become a symbol for that movie in the same way that Anderson’s constant use of yellow has become a signature for him so even the newest Wes fan can recognize which movie is which. The only Bottle Rocket piece I was able to recognize was a delicately paper crafted VHS box to have a web of layers of paper peeking through cut out windows. Reluctantly, I did not take a photograph of this box.
My personal favorite was Dean Stuart’s Tenenbaums inspired piece, “Make Yours Like Mine”. The colour palette and the light source created a stunning image that made me feel as if I could actually understand what Dudley (the character the painting focused on) was experiencing in his mind. Throughout The Royal Tenenbaums, Dudley is looked at as joke and an afterthought, so seeing this piece brought me joy. Another piece that particularly stuck out to me was Lauren Gregg’s cel vinyl on wood piece, “Suzy & Sam.” With a cartoon like stylization and the obvious contrast of emotions, Gregg’s piece combined my love of stylized simplicity and Anderson together in one. Of course, there was also a print of Rich Pellegrino’s piece, “Two Lesbians Masturbating” that we all well know from The Grand Busapest Hotel.
For the years to come, I hope to see more of the Wes Anderson Art Show, for I truly felt a little more connected to other Anderson fans. These artists created something as magical and wonderful as the the actual artists themselves and I’m thankful to have experienced it live.
If you are interested in seeing some of the featured art or considering buying prints or original pieces go to http://www.spoke-art.com/ for further information.