Retro games draw artists in LA

"i am 8-bit" art exhibit showcases pieces based on some of the game industry's classics; show opens April 19 on Melrose Avenue.

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Many adults who were young kids glued to classic gaming consoles, such as the Atari 2600 or the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, have all grown up. Some of the more creative-driven gamers of yore are now artists, and they're showing their fondness for gaming in an upcoming art exhibit in Los Angeles.

Titled "i am 8-bit," the show will feature game-related art from more than 100 artists at Gallery Nineteen Eighty Eight on Melrose Avenue in Hollywood. The show opens April 19 and continues through May 20, the final day of the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles. The gallery is also hosting a party for E3 attendees on May 18.

The opening will be hosted by '80s Latin-pop king Gerardo (aka Rico Suave) and bartended by burlesque sensations SuicideGirls. There will also be a live performance by game rockers 8 Bit Weapon.

The mediums, based on games such as Dig-Dug, Pac-Man, and Street Fighter II, are all across the board--digital prints, paintings, sculpture, and even custom-made toys are in the mix. The styles are just as varied as the games they represent, from Tim Tomkinson's Duck Hunter S. Thompson, which features the author over a backdrop of the NES light-gun classic, Duck Hunt, to Ryan Bubnis' The Mourning of the Princess, which depicts an unshaven, chain-smoking Link from The Legend of Zelda.

For more information, head over to the i am 8-bit Web site.

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