Friday night at HVW8 Art + Design Gallery, SoCal-based vintage T-shirt company Junk Food Clothing debuted "Junk Food Art House," a new series that draws on collaborations with both established and up-and-coming creative professionals. To help launch the multidisciplinary initiative, Junk Food enlisted Australian street artist Anthony Lister, whose specialty is customizing DC Comics superheroes such as Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Batgirl and Aquaman.
Opening-night festivities followed a three-week guerrilla street-art campaign in which Lister's posters could be spotted all over town, and marked the release of both a T-shirt and a limited-edition collection of posters featuring Lister's artwork. Given that it's presented by a clothing company, it was no surprise that the launch of Junk Food Art House featured a well-dressed crowd of women in too-tall high heels and glammed-up men with expensive highlights. Oh, and even a superhero or two.
Lister created custom murals for the gallery, including large-scale, site-specific artwork on the patio. He also covered an old-school ice-cream truck (and mobile pop-up shop) with his signature illustrations. Guests watched Lister in action on video, and even had the opportunity to interact with the artist himself, who flew in just for the occasion.
Yes, the Flash smokes, and double-fists his liquor. Beneath the superhero costume is artist Gregory Siff, who painted the 6th Street mural at the Standard Downtown, and whose own artwork can be seen at the street-art gallery, LAB ART.
Lister made at least three shirt changes. Here, he may fear no art, but he might be fearing the photo-bombing Flash.
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Lister stopped running around for a moment and sat down to draw inside a young fan's sketchbook, bringing art out from the streets and into the pages.
"I have chosen to use comic book characters as a metaphor to reference ancient mythological battles between heroes and villains, authority figures and survivalists, pseudo-equality and the general human condition today," Lister says.
"Junk Food Art House Presents Anthony Lister" is on view through August 29. Hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. at HVW8 Art + Design Gallery, 661 North Spaulding Avenue, Los Angeles. (323) 655-4898, www.hvw8.com.