Atomic Tiki Terrors Art Show at Creature Features

IMG_0706

With its impressive stash of collectibles and memorabilia, Creature Features in Burbank is a must-stop shop for pop culture geeks. Every few months, the store’s gallery hosts themed art shows and the most recent one was “Atomic Tiki Terrors!” It was a mash-up of tiki and ’50s and ’60s monster movies.

IMG_0706

How are they related? Both these forms of escapism tapped into common desires and fears of the time period. Faux-Polynesian paradises were mini-vacations from day-to-day life while the fantastical sci-fi films drew inspiration from the collective anxiety of the Atomic Age.

IMG_0706

I’ve cherrypicked a few of my favorites, including the groovy “Lost Planet” by Woody Miller. (He also had a few tiki-themed pieces in Creature Feature’s The Enchanted World of Rankin/Bass Art Show I blogged about previously.)

IMG_0706

I also liked the frenetic action in Ken Ruzic‘s “Atomic Tiki Terror” (in a Bamboo Ben bamboo frame), the cool blue stare in Christine Benjamin‘s “Tiki Invasion” and the cute little skull in the glass fishing float in “Mai Tai Monster” by Tiki tOny. (You’ll have to zoom in to see it.)

IMG_0706

I’ve never really watched “Star Trek” so I had to look up the significance of “Atomikitty” Susannah Mosher‘s painting, “Vina – Orion Slave Girl.” This seductive green alien appeared in the initially unaired pilot (“The Cage”), which was repurposed into a later two-part episode entitled “The Menagerie.” (I love how Susannah incorporated the Star Trek combadge into the tapa print background.)

IMG_0706

Over on the Facebook event page, you can see more of the art from Atomic Tiki Terrors and hear about the inspiration behind some of the pieces. Doug Horne spun quite an origin story for the half-man, half-Tiki-Bob-mug depicted in “Tiki Freak.”

More Tiki Art:
Tiki at “The Enchanted World of Rankin/Bass”
The Book of Tiki Art Exhibition at M Modern
“The Contemporary Idol” Art Show

Advertisements

Tiki at The Enchanted World of Rankin/Bass Art Show at Creature Features – Burbank, CA

photo-20

In Burbank there’s a lovely little stretch of Magnolia Boulevard that’s home to interesting shops like Halloweentown, 8-Ball and Creature Features. In the latter, you’ll find case after case filled with sci-fi/horror/pop culture memorabilia for sale, from “Star Trek” to “Gremlins” to Tim Burton films to “The Wizard of Oz.” (They’ve been around for decades but have been in this particular brick-and-mortar location for about a year.)

photo-8

There’s also a two-room gallery space in the store that hosts group art tribute shows with themes like Godzilla and Museum of the Weird (an abandoned Disney attraction concept). Right now they’re featuring “The Enchanted World of Rankin/Bass” with art inspired by the production company behind the beloved holiday specials “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (1964) and “Frosty the Snowman” (1969) along with other animated and stop-motion films and series.

photo-15

I was quite pleased to see “The Last Unicorn” (1982), a childhood favorite of mine, represented with a few gorgeous pieces.

photo-14

Among the dozens of contributors were artists familiar from the tiki scene, so it’s not all that surprising to see that influence come into play, as in “Yukon’s Gold” by Woody Miller. (I presume the title is a nod to the Beachcomber’s Gold drink by Don the Beachcomber.)

B5bGyr4CMAA8Ja-

Shout-out to Jay Wade Edwards for Tweeting over a photo of Miller’s “Bumbles” with a Moai mug. The folks at Tiki Magazine & More were so impressed by these paintings that they asked Miller to create the cover artwork for the current holiday issue.

photo-13

In “Heat Miser Triumphant,” Danny Hellman imagines what the world would look like if the hothead from “The Year Without a Santa Claus” (1974) had his way. Of course, the Heat Miser would have a flaming tiki drink!

photo-7

It may be the holidays, but many artists took a seasonal step back and presented art inspired by “Mad Monster Party.” Watching this 1967 stop motion film is one of my favorite Halloween traditions. Here we have “Mad Monster Party?” by Woody Welch.

photo-10

Retro artist extraordinaire Derek Yaniger really knocked it out of the park with his contribution, “Little Tibia and the Phibbeans.” (You’ve likely also seen the scribbles he’s done for Tiki Oasis and Tales of the Cocktail — and he also illustrated the recently released book Kiddie Cocktails.)

photo-12

I was also particularly enamored with another portrayal of the spooky Beatles-esque band: “Late for the Monster Party” by Gris Grimly. I dig its groovy vibe — it kind of reminds me of Scooby Doo and the gang with the Mystery Machine.

photo-9

Eric October, who designed those Moai Christmas postcards (and also painted the mural above this shop), showed off his serious talent for ceramics with this Yetch Has Lost His Head Bowl. Such a clever homage to the scene where the zombie butler’s noggin detaches and gets knocked around the party.

photo-18

The Enchanted World of Rankin/Bass can be viewed during store hours at Creature Features in Burbank through Saturday, January 4, 2015. (If you can’t make it over in time to see beautiful pieces like “Journey to the Island of Misfit Toys” by Daniel Swartz, you can see a fair amount of photos on the show’s Facebook page. I also have a few more pictures over on Flickr.)

Creature Features
2904 W. Magnolia Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91505
818-842-8665