Last Minute Preview – “Is This Thing On? 2: The Weird Year”

Tom Haubrick - "Richard | "Rodney" (ink & wash on paper )

Today is the the day that it all goes down.  For the second year in a row, Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles will host it’s much anticipated group exhibit titled “Is This Thing On?” and the opening is tonight (March 9th) from 7 – 10pm.  This year’s show is being deemed “The Weird Year” both for the fact that MC-ing duties will fall on the shoulder of host,”Weird AlYankovic and because the gallery will also be showcasing a 9-print set of pieces chronicling highlights throughout the famous parodists career.  100 artists in total will be creating depictions of their favorite comedians and it’s likely that at least a few of them will be in attendance (Artists, definitely. Comedians? Quite possibly).  Last year Zach Galifianakis sent a letter to artist, Mike Mitchell and personally thanked him for the piece that he created of him, while also apologizing for his face.  The show is being co-presented by Funny Or Die.  Check out this skit that focuses on last year’s exhibit and features Michael Cera, Martin Starr, and Tony Danza:

So here’s the deal… we’ve already shown you one preview of images for the show, as well as another post that presents all 9 of the contributions to the Weird Al retrospective in full.  We’ve explained that Yankovic himself is going to be there in person hosting the fucking thing and have even shown you a video which demonstrates how great some of the pieces were from last year (see our post of last year’s images HERE).  In reality, that should probably be enough to make you want to head down there, if you’re in the area, or to hitch-hike for a seaplane ride to get there, if you aren’t.

The way that these gallery shows and previews often work is that the gallery will provide you with preview images to post which helps to promote an event.  Sometimes the whole thing is less effect than others.  Often they will send you a slew of photos requesting that you only post a handful of them, or they might even specifically choose a handful of them and only send those to you to post.  The reason for that is, if all of the same outlets had all of the same images, it would be less effective than having various outlets posting a different selection.  That benefits the sites, because they have unique content, and it benefits the show by continuing to build excitement for the it, as well as by not blowing the entire load of the what will be on display all at once.  Generally, many of the artists themselves are asked not to blow up the internet by disclosing their images too soon, because that’s like posting all of the tracks to an album months before and it kills the interest way before the release date even comes around.  For a show like this, where Funny Or Die is so heavily involved, it was explained to sites like ourselves that expected to have the exclusive first run of the previews, so we would simply have to wait for them to post images first and then we could swipe some and put them up, after the fact.  That all makes sense, right?  The problem is that they haven’t done much in the way of previews for this year’s show, except for one post earlier this week and a post of the Weird Al pieces, which we already posted after getting them off of the Gallery 1988 blog a couple of days ago.  More and more images continue to pop up on the web -if you’re resourceful enough, they’re easy to locate- and we’ve been sitting on quite a few of them, trying to show restraint and respect for the what we are probably only creating in our own minds may or may not be the wishes of the organizers.  But I’m beginning to think that approach may already be pointless.  The gallery’s posting some images, the artists are posting some, forums, etc… Even Huffington Post dropped a bunch of new ones the other day.  So we’re gonna do this old school Monster Fresh-style, trying to remember how hood we really are in the first place, and just think about the readers and what they’d want to see.  We’re posting a handful of the preview images that we’ve collected over the last week or so.

Most of us won’t even be able to make it to the show, but for those of you who can make it, but are still undecided, we hope that these images will finally help you lock down on the right decision and get your ass over there.  The show is only in a few hours and the images will be online tomorrow anyway, so posting these now can only help the cause, but we don’t want you to think, “Fuck it.  I’ll just view the show online when it’s all up on the G1988 site.  If I want to purchase something, I’ll just try it then.”  Remember, while there should be a decent selection of both original works and prints, all pieces are first come, first served.  Plus, if you’ve ever gone to an art exhibit before, you should know that everything looks way more impressive in real life, than it does on the internet.  Checking out an entire exhibit on line before/instead of a show, is kind of like having a bootleg demo of an album.  Some songs might sound great, but others just aren’t at full potential.  If you see something that you like here and are thinking about purchasing it, either get your ass down to the show in person, or make sure to keep your eyes peeled on the official Gallery site for when they become available tomorrow.  Is This Thing On? 2 will be available for viewing until the end of the month, so if you want to see these pieces in person and in their full 3-dimensional glory, but are not available for the opening, there’s still plenty of time.  Unfortunately, it’s not likely that Weird Al will still be there hanging out.

Here are handful of the images that we find are both interesting and show variety.  Remember, there are 100 artists total and many of them often do multiple pieces (as demonstrated by our header image), so this is really only a small fraction of what can be seen tonight.

The show will be held at the Melrose location at the following address:
Gallery1988: Melrose
7020 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA  90038
Neighborhood: West Hollywood

[click select images to enlarge]

Jay Shaw (aka: Iron Jaiden)

Inspired by Brian Posehn (…and Powell Peralta)

Andrew DeGraff


“Man of a Thousand Mustaches”

19 3/4″ x 15 3/4″
gouache on paper.
Inspired by Peter Sellers

Evan M Lopez

“Im Exhausted from Trying to Believe Unbelievable Things”

Inspired by Steven Wright

Michelle Coffee

“I Just ‘Blue’ Myself”

Approx. 12 x 8 inches
one-of-a-kind plush
Inspired by David Cross (“as Tobias Funke/Blueman group reject/never nude & analrapist”)

Joey Spiotto (aka: Joebot)




(Record label detail)

“Conan and the Conandos – Team Coco”

mixed media
Inspired by Conan O’Brien

Graham Erwin

“Where’s My Chippy”

Inspired Tima and Eric
3 Color print on Pink Lemonade French 100# paper
18″ by 24″
Edition of 50


“Charlie Murphy”

Hyperpointillist painting (painted w/toothpicks)
Inspired by Eddie Murphy & Charlie Chaplin

Ivan Minsloff

“Their Satanic Majesty’s Flying Circus”

19 x 19 inches
Inspired by Monty Python
(…and The Rolling Stones)

Kiersten Essenpreis

wood etching sealed in resin
Inspired by Mitch Hedberg
(click here to see full set of 8 different pieces)

Dead C

Located in Seattle, Dead C is the founder/editor, as well as the principal writer and photographer, of Monster Fresh. Creating the site in 2007, he did so with a specific dream in mind. Unfortunately, being a muscle relaxer-fueled fever dream, it's hard to recall all of the details. "I remember that my mom was there, but it wasn't actually her in the dream, it was actually 70s heart throb, Jan Michael Vincent. And everything took place here, in this room... but it wasn't actually here... it was different. The colors were washed out and, for some reason, there was a raccoon kicking it with us and it was wearing a holographic monocle."

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