Long Beach Will Be Hosting the Region’s Best Exhibit of Illustrative Art (and It’s F*cking Weird)
Illustration by David Van Patten.
One of Long Beach’s most prolific and respected artists, David Van Patten, is leading the charge in bringing our city quite arguably one of the most eclectic, powerful sets of illustrative art in the region. And, of course, it happens to be at MADE by Millworks, which—beyond its retail offerings—is becoming the most subversive and unique art gallery in Long Beach.
Headlining the HaHa Cloud Machine: A Humor-Themed Illustration Show will be Daniel Johnston, the famed illustrator whom Patten convinced to give the show a handful of drawing from his sole graphic novel in 2012, Space Ducks: An Infinite Comic Book of Musical Greatness.
“I’ve wanted to curate a group show for years because I’ve met amazing artists all over Long Beach but I really didn’t try to start doing this professionally until 2009,” Van Patten said. “Over the past eight years, I’ve met the most amazing artists and people. I kept telling myself I would eventually gather these people together, a colliding of worlds, for a show and now is the time.”
LA Zine Fest proved fruitful grounds for Van Patten’s inspiration, introducing him to Los Angeles artists and locations, from Airspace in Echo Park introducing him to Travis Miller to randomly meeting Matt Furie.
The artwork of Matt Furie.
For Van Patten, illustrative art—particularly the form of weirdo art that this installation highlights–has yet to garner the clout of street art in respect of catching the eyes of museum curators. Whether this is because illustration lacks the fame a la Banksy and Shepard Fairey or because “no one gets it” is a moot point; Van Patten wants to find spaces and places to show off this art—whether that’s a museum or a makeshift gallery like MADE.
“The intention was to only be about ten artists but as more and better artists started confirming, I said, ‘Fuck it, let’s just keep reaching out there,’” Van Patten said.
That reaching led him to the likes of illustrative stars like Penelope Gazin and Craig Gleason being paired with local artists like Jeff McMillan and Creep. For a total of eighteen artists with three to five pieces per artists, this exhibition is set to show of illustration to Long Beach in a way that no other show has.
What you’ll find is art that is funny—and Van Patten sought to find the full spectrum of humor. From uncomfortably laughable to creepy haha to “straight-up lol,” the exhibit shows off a dark sense of humor paired with political and cultural tinges.
HaHa Cloud Machine: A Humor-Themed Illustration Show will open Saturday, March 18 at 7PM at MADE by Millworks, located at 240 Pine Ave.