Gallery 1988 on Melrose is known for its pop culture aesthetic and for having its finger on the pulse of all things uniquely Los Angeles. This weekend, the gallery will open two shows—one at their east gallery, and one at their west gallery—that continue their theme: “The Once Future and Weird Kids,” an exhibition of works by Nicole Gustafsson, and “Really, Really, Really Ridiculously Good Looking Art Show: A Tribute to Zoolander.”
Jensen Karp, the gallery’s co-owner, says that Pacific Northwest-based Gustafsson has been on their radar for nearly a decade. “We’ve been showing her work for about eight years, and she’s really become one of our standout painters,” he says. Much of her work is done on wood, creating fine details over pre-cut shapes.
The Zoolander show will feature works by artists including Beau Berkley, Bobby O’Herlihy, The Meltdown poster artist Dave Kloc, and Jerrod Maruyama. The idea came about naturally, says Karp. “We’ve done shows based on cult comedies before,” he says. “We did Wet Hot American Summer, Stepbrothers, Funny or Die; very specific comedy art shows that have a very tight, rapid fanbase.” Karp notes that Ben Stiller has always been a big supporter of the gallery, and so—especially now that the Zoolander sequel has been announced—it seemed like the right show at the right time.
Both shows fit neatly into the gallery’s overarching concept of upgrading pop culture to high art. “A lot of other galleries used to persuade people away from tapping into pop culture influences,” says Karp. “We always pushed them towards it.”
“The Once and Future Weird Kids” opens tonight and runs through January 23 at Gallery 1988 East, 7021 Melrose Avenue, 90038. “Really, Really, Really Ridiculously Good Looking Art Show: A Tribute to Zoolander” opens tomorrow and runs through January 30 at Gallery 1988 West, 7308 Melrose Avenue, 90046