Growing up, I had four framed pieces of science fiction art hung on my bedroom wall for as long as I can remember. I couldn’t tell you who the artist was, only the vague recollection of my dad telling me they were all cover art for one pulp SF mag or another. The details weren’t really important; what mattered to me is that they conjured up dreams of far-flung alien worlds and sleek starships to take me there. So I truly love that there are honest-to-gosh legitimate museums out there now that showcase pictures of aliens and superheroes and movie monsters with just as much loving affection as anything you had to study in art class. Case in point: the L.A.-based Hero Complex Gallery, which just kicked off a new exhibition with an “alien invasion” theme.
The “Invasion!” exhibit features art by Gordon Reid, Kyle Wilkinson, RAID71, Steven Bonner, and Tony Hodgkinson. You can see some of their works below, inspired by everything from Mars Attacks! to Attack the Block, from The Day the Earth Stood Still to They Live.
I’m particularly digging the above piece by RAID71, riffing off Philip Kaufman’s 1978 Invasion of the Body Snatchers remake. I love the way it suggests the duality at the heart of the story, and how it contrasts a dead-eyed Donald Sutherland against his iconic — and creepy as hell — scream from the movie’s final scene. I’d hang it on my wall, but probably not in any room I planned to sleep in.
This Space Invaders piece, also by RAID71, is also pretty damn special. If only I’d known that my arcade ineptitude was causing real-life damage!
This one is my very favorite of the lot, and not just because writing about The Day the Earth Stood Still yesterday reminded me of how good that movie is. I love that artist Steven Bonner stuck with the black-and-white color palate of the classic film, and the stark simplicity of incorporating the film’s most striking and memorable visual elements. Putting the saucer in Gort’s open visor was just brilliant.
You can check out more of the “Invasion!” art below, and if you’re in the L.A. area and want to see it for yourself, the show is running through October 12. The Hero Complex Gallery is located at 2020 South Robertson Blvd., Studio D, LA, CA 90034.