If you think WWA Gallery is preying on your easiest emotions with their fifth annual “Gag Me With A Toon” exhibit, well, you’re absolutely right. This is a very specific vein they are tapping. The first dramatic connection many of us have with art is through cartoons, comic strips, comic books. and for Generation Y (why?), video games. I’ve met very few people who weren’t significantly shaped (warped even) by the Saturday morning cartoons they watched in their formative years. For me, it was Beany & Cecil. So, it makes perfect sense that WWA, the sister gallery of Wonderful World of Animation, would have dozens of their favorite artists create Toon themed work for their special yearly exhibit.
What you get is a dizzying, madcap, mixed bag of pop culture touchstones, veering from earnest homage to playful satire. I was made painfully aware of my age (and my childlessness) however when I had to Google Evil-lyn and Jem. I didn’t have a clue. Speaking of kids, you’re safe bringing them, the bulk of the art is fairly tame, but then I’m not the one who has to explain Chris Prynoski‘s hilarious take on Schoolhouse Rock to your little scruffer. Among the standouts are Gabe Larson, who works his – ‘It looks just like a photograph!’- magic on South Park’s most tragic character, and Dave McDowell, whose Yabba-Dabba-Fuck You! (top photo) re-imagines the Flintstone clan as Kesey Cuckoos. Now you’ve heard me sing the praises of Vincent Cacciotti here for a while here, so I’ll spare you my pedantic hyperbole this time around, even though I think his Niveous is the single best thing in the show.
There are over sixty artists featured in Gag Me With A Toon 5, including Alex Pardee, Brandt Peters, and David Chung . There’s also a wildly out of character piece by JoKa, that I can only tease you about. You’ll have to go see it for yourself.
“Gag Me With a Toon 5” runs May 4th – June 1, 2013
9517 Culver Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
Gallery Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 11-5 pm or by appointment