A couple friends and I got the chance to stop by Carmed Life Gallery and Tatoo Studio on October 7th for their fantastic Death Star art exhibit which combined Star Wars with classic horror film icons. The event ran from 6-10pm and we arrived to a packed house around 7ish. Upon entereing, guests were greeted with the Star Wars-inspired musical stylings of Ben Frock and The Subatomic Particles. The musicians all hail from various musical projects but formed together like Voltron and learned some Star Wars tunes for the event. Featuring a trumpet, sax, guitar, keyboard and drums, the band went back and forth between free-form jamming and various Star Wars melodies we've all come to know and love.
As for the art itself, wow! The local artists, many of which are tatoo artists who work at Carmed Life Studio, created a wide variety of Star Wars horror mash-ups that included nods to A Nightmare on Elm Street, Frankenstein, The Evil Dead, Dracula, Phantasm, Human Centipede and much more. The artwork on display was not limited to paintings and drawings as there was also a bust of a zombie Emperor, an interesting Vader helmet, and a ceramic Ackbar inspired by the Saw series of films. Virtually every piece of Star Wars horror art grabbed my attention but my favorite might have been the painting which depicted Dracula as the Emperor at the end of Return of the Jedi. Dracula is perched over Luke while delivering a healthy dose of Force-lightning into the younger Skywalker. Vader is seen over Dracula's shoulder ready to save his son with a hammer and stake. Awesome!
The overall vibe of the Death Star art show was relaxed and friendly. While geared towards the older sect of fandom, there were a decent amount of families who attended. Charmed Life Studio is not a large venue and it didn't take too long to see all of the artwork. A testament to the vibe created by the organizers is that people simply hung out once they had taken a tour. Some folks stayed to chat with other guests. Some folks hung out in the main room to listen to the band and others took multiple swings through the studio to study specific pieces in more detail. The fact that adult beverages were being consumed also added to the stay and hang out atmosphere. Everyone was friendly and in good spirits. This is one of those times when I can say the cliche with confidence that a good time was had by all.
Just another little highlight to toss out there: At one point my friend Kevin and I got wrapped up listening to a particularly long jam by the band. At this point the music being played was not necessarily Star Wars-themed. Each musician seemed to be improvising and they were into a great groove. Then they all came back together and ended the jam on a version of the Imperial March. As this is going on, more and more guests stop what they are doing and turn to watch the performance. Once the jam ended, you could hear about ten people (including myself) throught the place mutter, "Awseome." Good times!
We have some pictures from the show in the gallery below and you can also click here for close up views of a number of the art pieces.
Better yet, my friend Mike of I Know A Guy LLC was nice enough to put together the following highlight video for us.
Thanks to the Charmed Life Gallery and Tatoo Studio for holding a great event that I hope becomes an annual tradition. I'd love to bring my wife to a future event as I think she would have really dug the artwork. Just need a babysitter next time!
Also, big thanks to my friends Kevin and Mike for coming out to the event with me. Mike did an awesome job on the video and Kevin's just a good sport about coming with me to any Star Wars event I whine about wanting to attend. Gear up for TPM in 3-D this coming February fellas. We may not hit a midnight showing this go 'round but we're bringing the kids to this one. It's up to the wives if they'd like to attend or if they'd like the luxury of a few afternoon hours without the kids. Let's face it, the husbands fall in the kids category too.