When I was growing up in the 1980s, it was nearly impossible to think about sharks without thinking of the movie JAWS. Although the original film was actually released in 1975 -the first 80s sequel wasn’t until JAWS 3D (1983)- it was such a groundbreaking cinematic accomplishment and it permeated our culture to such a degree that it was difficult to see imagery of a shark swimming without instantly hearing that infamous John Williams tune doom-thumping through your skull. JAWS helped launch Spielberg‘s career and has even been credited as the father of the summer blockbuster. The film transcended the horror movie genre in such a way that the idea of a killer monster shark not only felt like a plausible storyline, but it also felt as it was a real life inevitability. Those of us who were not marine biologists -especially, those of us that were incredibly young- accepted the idea of JAWS as the quintessential interpretation for the cartilaginous fish and often internalized it as a reality. What it taught us was that, completely unprovoked, a shark will eat your ass whole. Even more, they just might jump up onto your boat or simply bite the goddamn thing in half. In 1987, the Discovery Channel began airing their annual shark week series to help us regular folk gain a wider respect and understanding for these majestic animals of the deep, which had been striking unwarranted fear into the hearts of so many for so long. It’s fair to say that, over these last 2.5 decades, leaps and bounds have been made in the way of remedying the PR disaster which began for shark kind in the mid-70s, but logic and fear can not always co-exist on the same plane and it can still be difficult to shake off the impact made with those original negative impressions (not unlike with the HYUNDAI EXCEL). In reality, humans are a great deal more of a threat to sharks than they have ever been to us and many species of the animal have become increasingly endangered. According to NOAA Fisheries, “over 100 million sharks are killed each year” by humans, both accidentally, as well as intentionally. Fortunately, organizations like PangeaSeed have been erected to help reverse this trend and, in association with San Francisco‘s SPOKE ART, they are presenting a new group art exhibit with the hopes of raising some money to help aid in that endeavor even further. Read the rest of this entry →
Roq La Rue is an internationally renowned pop-surrealist/contemporary art gallery located here in Seattle. Along with her work compiling and editing the “first comprehensive survey of the Pop Surrealism/Lowbrow art movement”, Pop Surrealism (Last Gasp, 2004) Roq La Rue owner/curator, Kirsten Anderson has made a name for herself as the editor at large for Hi-Fructose Magazine and for the consistently awe-inspiring and high quality exhibits presented at her gallery. This week, the venue launches their latest show, which not only places it’s focus on an outside publication, but also features an outside curator: Monte Beauchamp, founder of BLAB! Magazine.
Since it’s humble beginnings as a self published zine in the 80s, BLAB! has gone through a handful of changes and risen into a highly respected annual anthology of comics, as well as a vehicle of exposure for talents in the contemporary graphic design, illustration, printmaking, and associated art worlds. This year’s BLAB! SHOW will showcase works by many of the artists who have been featured in both Beauchamp‘s publication and Anderson‘s gallery in the past, respectively. Among the 26 contributing artists are such Monster Fresh favorites as Travis Louie (previously featured here) and past interviewee, Brian Despain. More than just a simple assemblage of some of the “underground” art world’s elite, the BLAB! exhibit will actually be a themed group show, with the mythical European Christmas figure of the demonic KRAMPUS operating as the muse for those crafting and providing pieces. Read the rest of this entry →