Pardee and Skinner butcher pop culture
As the crowd moves in, spectators are eager to see what waits behind the intimate gallery whose contents have been kept from the public eye. The gallery, featuring Alex Pardee and Skinner’s latest collaborative work, has not unveiled any details of the works until the opening day.
A sign outside warns that The Butcher Kings gallery shows “graphic and sexual content and its gross unsuitability for young children.”
One step inside, and it’s like emerging into a whole new twisted world of pop culture.
The first thing one notices is the Pikachu pinned to the wall overhead with a knife striking his stomach.
Looking down one notices a painting of the Kellogg’s breakfast cereal characters Snap, Crackle, and Pop recreated as the “Human Centipede.”
Across the way, you can see "Scumpy,” a beer-bellied, barfing depiction of Gumby.
Sections of the walls were painted with black shadows framing the art pieces, giving an effect of swallowing the characters into a black hole.
Alex Pardee, a freelance artist from San Francisco, is primarily known for his work designing album covers for the bands, The Used, and In Flames, and recently for the artwork for Zack Snyder’s movie “Sucker Punch.”
Skinner has been exhibited in venues from Los Angeles to Japan.
Both artists collaborated for this project in hopes of pushing the limits of their artwork.
“Skinner and I both recognize that a lot of L.A. and Hollywood is based on pop culture, and we grew up loving all the icons,” says Pardee. “We thought it would be a really cool idea to imagine what would happen if all of these icons just got destroyed and left to us to kind of re-imagine and rebuild based on just memories.”
“I find it really funny in a dark way, because its things that everybody knows about in pop culture. You can tell everything right when you look at it!” says Jason Daley, an art major at Los Angeles City College. “Everything is so messed up, and you look away, but look again because it’s kind of beautiful in a weird way.”
“In this one we went outside of ourselves in a way, that we do a lot of stuff we’re not normally comfortable painting,” Skinner says. “Just so we could expand our vision and then kind of get away with what actually defined us as artists. It was cool.”
Skinner and Pardee both spent a month living together and working on their collaborative project, Skinner says. “He was really just in it. He was like, ‘I just want to be in a free, safe, strange and creative space.’ And I was like, ‘I have that, I have that space for you!’”
The Butcher Kings will remain open to the public until Oct. 29 at Gallery 1988 Melrose, located at 7020 Melrose Avenue.
For more information visit Gallery 1988.