In Los Angeles California, the official doors of SUPER iam8bit have recently closed after a fantastic showing of the newly reborn video game art gallery. Originally conceived in 2004 by Jon Gibson, founder of PLAY Magazine, the art collective and think-tank, iam8bit, officially opened its gallery on April 19, 2005. Since that time, the gallery has grown substantially in size and popularity in the heart of Echo Park.
The iam8bit gallery is an artistic collective of incredibly talented artists and designers across many mediums and styles focusing on characters of the 8 and 16bit video game generations. From digital art to classically-styled paintings and sculptures, the walls of SUPER iam8bit are filled with artistic memorial works of countless characters and worlds from the classic generations of video games. After a three year hiatus, they have returned with a new location, new name, and great works of art.
While exploring the SUPER iam8bit to find Zelda’s Slumber by Rich Pellegrino may not perhaps be the same experience as going to see a Monet painting in a traditional museum for some, the artists showcased within its walls are indeed brilliantly talented. As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Sometimes the content of a painting or sculpture can be just as awe-inspiring as any classical artist’s work in the eyes of the right person. In fact, this year, SUPER iam8bit greeted over a thousand patrons to its halls after the three year hiatus; and to the massive droves of fans of the show locally and abroad, Nick Ahrens emphatically responds, “Everyone! Thank you so much! Opening night for SUPER iam8bit was amazing, awesome, and amazingawesome.”
While MTB is still investigating the legitimacy of the word amazingawesome, the sentiment is obvious. The people involved in the event have worked insanely hard to get these amazing works into the public eye and the fans have responded in sheer numbers to see the fruits of their labor. This breed of event is a rare thing indeed and hopefully the rebirth of iam8bit will spark similar events elsewhere in other cities as well.
While the show has officially wrapped up for the year, the amazingly talented artists are still hard at work in anticipation for next year’s show. If you’re stuck on the east coast or couldn’t make the event, you can still get a taste of the show in the studio’s new art book; SUPER iam8bit: More Art Inspired By Classic Video Games of the ’80’s. Try saying that five times fast. According to a statement from Nick Ahrens on the studio’s official site, the book is currently in production and pre-orders will be taken very soon. Pixels are sexy indeed.