Classic characters get fanboy facelifts


March 16. 2013 10:07PM

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Some people may think they truly know beloved pop culture icons, from Ren and Stimpy and Spongebob to Yoda and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Well, a trio of artists in Scranton is giving fans a new spin on the well-known figures that may change that perception.


‚??Fanboy February,‚?Ě an exhibit that opened Feb. 1 and runs through Feb. 23 at New Visions Studio & Gallery (201 Vine St., Scranton), pays homage to several characters, all portrayed through various mediums of art and pieces that range from clean and modern to downright humorous.


It all began last April when Kevin Callen and Shane Schilling, recent Keystone College graduates, were sitting in class discussing the fact that they needed to put a show like this together.


‚??We‚??ve always been doodling and drawing stuff like this,‚?Ě Schilling said. ‚??It‚??s where we draw a lot of our inspiration from, whether it be the designers, whoever created the character itself, or the idea, color, or pattern. We needed to do an homage show and even poke fun at the things we love.‚?Ě


Gary Bird, a friend of Schilling‚??s, joined in and, together, the three produced a set of 33 pieces.


Melanie Boisseau, curator at New Visions, said the exhibit just made sense.


‚??We sell a lot of things that are in line with this show in our gift shop, like comics and video games. It was a perfect fit.‚?Ě


Another perfect fit is the artists themselves, who constantly cracked jokes and told funny stories about how the art came to be as they showed off the gallery the Wednesday before the show went up.


‚??It was basically a three-hour endeavor of us just cursing and screaming,‚?Ě Bird said of the work he and Schilling did on two paper towel dispensers-turned-‚??Invader Zim‚?Ě characters.


That project is just the beginning. Callen made several digital paintings, many of which he modeled after methods he learned in college.


‚??I took a printmaking class and did woodblock prints, so these are my digital woodblock prints,‚?Ě he said of his ‚??Star Wars‚?Ě and ‚??Breaking Bad‚?Ě pieces.


Schilling‚??s most prized piece in the show is a large piece of plywood with the Superman symbol on it, a painting project that also involved the use of tape to make angular lines and squares.


Bird pokes the most fun at the beloved characters, depicting Buzz and Woody from ‚??Toy Story‚?Ě as they would be when playtime has run out, and putting Spongebob Squarepants in compromising positions.


There‚??s also Hulk Hogan and Jeff Goldblum, hipster style; a Sonic Screwdriver blueprint; and a mixed media ‚??Fight Club‚?Ě piece to be enjoyed.


The guys hope everyone takes a lighthearted approach to the show and sees things in a new light afterward.


‚??Even if you weren‚??t the biggest fan but knew of it, you might say, ‚??Hmm, I never thought of it that way,‚??‚?Ě Schilling said.



Fanboy February: through Feb. 23, New Visions Studio & Gallery (201 Vine St., Scranton). Gallery hours: Tues.-Sun., noon-6 p.m. and by appointment. Info: newvisionstudio.com, 570.878.3970.





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