Product Placement – Group Show @ Gallery 1988 [Los Angeles]

[left: image by Joshua Budich]

[left: image by Joshua Budich]

Product Placement

screenprints of your favorite products that don’t exist

I walked through a temporary delusion for a really brief period of time, right after Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines was released on video, ten years ago.  Watching it for the first time at my friend KB‘s place, as we took repeated pulls off of a double-percolator, I began to gradually understand the brilliance of the film.  There was an unnecessarily dragged-out shot from behind the characters (upper shoulders and backs of heads) that focused on a gas station.  I remember that the camera simply showed their backs and then just rested on the towering AM/PM sign for what seemed like an eternity.  An 18-wheeler with a huge XENADRINE EFX ad plastered across the side of it drove by in the background of another scene; the camera slowly panned away from the vehicle that contained the stars of the film, just to sit on the advertisement, with nothing else on the screen, for a couple of seconds.  I don’t remember what type of cell phone Kate Brewster (Claire Danes) is using after she’s kidnapped by Arnold‘s terminator character, but I do remember that she makes sure to mention to the 911 operator that she’s been placed in the back of a Toyota Tundra and that, later, the truck takes a ridiculous pounding through an explosive car chase and keeps rolling like a fucking champ.  I believe that there might have also been some sort of zoom-in shot on a Budweiser label and possibly even some product placement by Lexus in the film, as well, among others.

In my foggy chronic haze, I began to believe that T3 was an accidental masterpiece; a film where the real art was in their relentless barrage of subliminal, and not so subliminal, advertising.  I had never witnessed a more overt and aggressive corporate infiltration of a motion picture, before or since.  I watched the entire film through that lens, pitting my own disoriented mind against a vicious excessive onslaught from corporate interests.  The art definitely wasn’t in the storyline or the actual film itself, of course, but in the fact that the entire film was a vessel to sell weight-loss pills, new-fangled technology, junk food, and alcohol.  It was amazing.  Of course, after singing it’s praises and convincing a group of people to watch it with me in a much more sober state, it became quickly apparent that I had overshot my original assessment.  That movie was really fucking terrible, afterall.  If there was anything beautiful and/or artistic about that trite convoluted disaster, it came from the fact that Linda Hamilton had already won the franchise from her ex-husband, James Cameron, and sold it.  By allowing it to be raped so mercilessly, she was able to jab him where it really hurt: right in the legacy.

It’s not that product placement isn’t ever effective or that it’s always intrusive, because I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t susceptible to purchasing a Sioux City Sarsaparilla whenever I come across it (thanks Stranger).  But while the first Wayne’s World film managed to find a clever way to both incorporate and mock it’s usage simultaneously, one could argue that the movie increased the demand for Wayne’s World caps more than it did for Pizza Hut pizza or Adidas gear (obviously, it revived interest in “Bohemian Rhapsody” more than any of those things).  It’s the products invented for the films and television programs that were the ones that I always wanted and that’s why merchandising is such a big industry, even if I will never actually get to own a mogwai or enter into the digital realm in Tron.   Above all else, a lot of people from my generation wanted to get their hands on a hoverboard, and, at one point, there was even an incredibly cruel rumor that they existed somewhere [we addressed that shameful hoax in an old article from 2007].  Now Los AngelesGallery 1988 is paying tribute to these fictional products with brand new group exhibit titled “Product Placement” and it opens tomorrow night.

Product Placement works as just one more example as to why G1988 has consistently been at the forefront when it comes to pop-culture related artwork.  Incredibly consistent and forward thinking when it comes to discovering new ways to approach the genre, they eventually grew to the point of running 2 separate galleries, hosting monthly shows simultaneously at each venue.  They recently relocated both galleries to even larger locations to accommodate this continued growth further and this will be the inaugural exhibit christening their new Melrose East location.  Based on the images that we’ve seen so far, this should be a good one.  Personally, I’ve got my fingers crossed that someone takes on the Opti-grab.

The following information is taken from the press release:

The doors to G1988 (East) at 7021 Melrose Ave (at La Brea) have almost opened!

This Saturday night, we make it official with “Product Placement,” a screenprint show advertising products that only exist in TV shows and movies. It’s an incredible group show, featuring work from over 40 different artists, all with limited edition pieces.

Join us this Saturday night, March 9th, from 7-10 PM, for the opening reception.

There will be no preview for this show. The first chance to purchase anything from Product Placement will be at the opening.

Check out preview images for the exhibit below the following event details…


“Product Placement”
screenprints of your favorite products that don’t exist


Friday, March 9th



Gallery 1988 (East)
7021 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, Ca 90038



Opening is ALL AGES w/NO COVER
Exhibit will be on view until April 6th.
The gallery is open from 11 – 6pm from Wednesday – Sunday.

[click images to enlarge]

Sean Dove


“A Good Blaster At Your Side”

20 x 16 inches
signed & numbered edition of 50

Dave Perillo


“Stay Puft”

3 color screenprint on French Construction Nightshift Blue 100C
18 x 12 inches
signed & numbered edition of 84

Anthony Petrie

anthony petrie grayskull

“Eternian Equity”

4 color screenprint on Kraft French Paper
18 x 24 inches
signed & numbered edition of 75

Barry Blankenship



4 color screenprint on Nightshift Blue French paper
17 x 22 1/2 inches
signed & numbered edition of 50

Derek Deal


“The Bathroom Buddy”

3 color screenprint
18 x 24 inches
signed & numbered edition of 60

Rob Loukotka

dapper dan Lou kotka

“Dapper Dan Men’s Pomade”

3 color screenprint on French Paper Company cream
24 x 18 inches
signed & numbered edition of 90

Aled Lewis

red apple cigarettes

“Quality To The Core”

4 color screenprint on Sirio 350gsm
18 x 24 inches
signed & numbered edition of 75

Jessica Deahl

soul glo

“Soul Glo”

3 color screenprint
18 x 24 inches
signed & numbered edition of 70

Clark Orr

CLARK ORR hover board

“HoverBoard Diagram” (3D Glasses Included)

2 color screenprint on French paper (3D glasses included)
18 x 24 inches
signed open edition

Tom Whalen


“Caterpillar P-5000 Work Loader”

3 color screenprint on French Speckletone Cream 80C
18 x 24 inches
signed & numbered edition of 50

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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