Trying to explain the plot of an episode of Broad City feels like retelling a drunken adventure, while you're still drunk: Certain parts don’t quite make sense, others seem utterly fantastical, but all of it is funny as hell. Abbi and Ilana, the pot-smoking, party-hopping stars of the Comedy Central sitcom, have won over audiences with their awkwardness, honesty and no-fucks-given approach to life. As they struggle through their lame jobs, they find comfort in each other, the city and the adventures that always seem to find them.
“NOMO FOMO: An Art Show About Broads in the City” captures the spirit of the show with a few twists from the participating artists. You can totally recognize the gals, but each piece interprets the characters in its own distinct way.
Besides portraits of the lead characters, the show is rife with subject material. When else can you make art inspired by stashing weed in a vagina, accidentally melting a dildo in the dishwasher or going crazy at a Whole Foods in a post-wisdom-teeth-extraction-surgery high?
“Everyone we know loves the show, and Broad City has so many fans all over the world, but we didn't expect our VIP preview to sell out as fast as it did,” co-curator Jane Dope said via email. “Angelenos love a good pop culture group show, but because of what Abbi and Ilana have created, we think this is going to be something special.”
The show, put on by Eat More Art Out Productions (Jane Dope, Sleazy Bake Oven and Hussy Whipped), features work from artists including Megan Crow, Elias Stein, LA Johnson and Scott Teplin. Of course, the show includes plenty of portraits of the ladies, such as Johnson’s snapshot of the girls smiling with their middle fingers on the outside corners of their lips, a quick response to a cat-caller telling them to smile. Other pieces reference Abbi’s apartment and the ever-present Bevers. There’s also an elegant, serious portrait of a slim pug holding a piece of Chex Mix. (Abbi pictured herself as a slim pug if she ever needed to choose a dog form — and most fans remember her penchant for picking out one specific piece from the Chex Mix bag.)
With so many fans of the show, finding art about the women and their adventures wasn’t difficult.
“The inspiration for this whole group show came when we started sifting through the official @broadcity Instagram for #fanartfriday posts,” Dope says. “We were like, 'Wow, there's a lot of talent here.' Naturally we invited some of these artists, as well as artists from our previous show rosters, to be a part of 'NOMO FOMO.' Word spread, and after posting a few teasers, we started to receive international inquiries from people we would have never found on our own.” Between 75 and 100 pieces will be on display.
Like most pop culture–themed shows, the artists had plenty to work with. But it's even more fun to see art based around a show that's still on the air rather than something based in nostalgia — fans are waiting anxiously for the next season to start. The artworks are a quick reminder of the amazing shenanigans that have happened so far.
As for the curators' favorite episode?
“There's so many we love so much, but I think we've watched "P*$$y Weed" more times than we can count,” says Dope. “The girls attempt to be 'grown-ass women' by buying their own weed and doing their own taxes. We can relate.”
NOMO FOMO is on view from Sept. 30 to Oct. 7. Nerdist Showroom at Meltdown Comics, 7522 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood. facebook.com/events/1120623581341271.
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