Your Nickelodeon Youth, Galleryized

Dozens of artists pay homage to the shows many of us grew up loving.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Dave Crosland
    Dave Crosland's "You Can't Hide Forever" is on display at iam8bit on Sunset Boulevard. It's part of a larger exhibit celebrating the shows of Nickelodeon. The exhibit is on through May 5.

    It's true that "galleryized" isn't a proper word, but we think it is the kind of term one might have heard on a madcap, outlandish, bigger-than-its-britches-type Nickelodeon show back in the '90s. Say, "Ren & Stimpy" or some other show where plotting is a main part of the plot.

    "Ren, we must galleryize that planet! At once!" (cue evil music)

    To galleryize, though, is to simplyl put stuff in a gallery, and that's exactly what iam8bit has done with a host of classic Nickelodeon shows. Nope, the Echo Park gallery isn't merely hanging cels or animatics or drawings straight from the animators' drawing boards (though that would be pretty cool). They've asked dozens of artists to interpret and re-realize and tweak and play with some classic Nick shows.

    "It's the shizNICK" is an exhibit full of the colorful, zany, bizarre result. Yep, "Ren & Stimpy" makes a showing, as does "The Adventures of Pete & Pete" and "Rugrats" and "Rocko's Modern Life" and all the programs you sat on the floor and ate bowl after bowl of milkless cereal, watching, rapt and wide-eyed.

    Some animation fans might call this period a golden age, but recall that the form has had many golden ages, from the Silly Symphonies to Looney Tunes to UPA's prolific output in the '60s. Nick's best absolutely deserves a seat on that stage, and this lively exhibit supports that.

    Imaginative, iconoclastic shows re-realized by the fan artists who grew up watching them? That's a gas. And it makes us wonder if the cartoons our kids are watching now will one day get their own gallery show. Animation? We're waiting on that next golden age.

    "It's the shizNICK" is on at iam8bit through Sunday, May 5.

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