Gallery 1988 is the ultimate example of remix and convergence culture. Founded in 2004 by former rapper Hot Karl (Jensen Karp), the two locations of Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles and Santa Monica have earned a reputation of serving as an incredible outlet for alternative art that takes on the attitude of remix and convergence culture. A quick scroll through their webstore will have you sold.
Since the new of the world wide web has become an every-household technology standard, artists have used mixed media to produce both unique artwork as well as pieces inspired by music, movies, television, comics, books, and everything else that defines our generation. The web has been an outlet for all this creativity on sites like Deviant Art. Now, however, artists have a venue in which to monetize their creative talents. The point here is not to focus on money being spent by us the consumers, rather the point is that there now exists evidence that artwork based on our excessive fandoms is a viable commodity. Taking it a step further, these remix artists could eventually get to a place in their life where their main source of income is in fact their incredible art, allowing for them to focus career-level attention on producing more artwork on a regular basis with the funds that they require.
But let us take the money out of the equation. Our culture can smell a cash grab from a mile away and a resurgence of art in popular culture will definitely only allow the true creative types to bubble to the surface. I find it amazing that artists have an outlet for such an amalgamation of their gifts and their passions. Imagine if there were more galleries like this around the country. We could have a second renaissance of art, this time representing the youth of our nation. It would be amazing if children said from an early age that they want to be an artist when they grow up. It feels as if many people that are creative at heart have to indulge with soul-crushing desk jobs because they’re told from so early on that there is no life in the world of art. With our instant-response and gratification culture, artists and society in general could understand the amount of appreciation that others have for the yields of their passions. Even more so, the idea of a modern renaissance is extremely titillating. Perhaps people can stop pretending as if they enjoy going to art museums and finally have a section of the art world that they truly enjoy.