Level_13: Classic Video Game Art

It's no wonder that many consider modern video games to be works of art; that code somehow comes together to create worlds filled with compelling stories, new aesthetics, and ideas as complex as found in any novel, movie, or music video is simply astounding. But before game developers got to that level, they had to do a little practicing on the cave walls, so to speak. Altered Esthetics' "Level_13" celebrates these early, "prehistoric" years of video gaming, an era where squares marching from the top to the bottom of the screen could be as intense as fighting an enormous 3-D villain is today. For this group show, artists were asked to draw inspiration from classics, from Mario Bros. to Space Invaders to Pac-Man—games that were simple, elegant, and really fun. Contributors have created pieces in a variety of mediums, including glitter on canvas, pen and ink, and digital works. You don't have to hold the arcade record for Double Dragon to appreciate the art, but it may make you wish you hadn't sold your Atari at that garage sale 20 years ago. The opening reception is from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, September 3. There will also be an artists' discussion panel 1 p.m. Saturday, September 18. (Ana Log, Kari Schuster)
Sept. 2-23, 2010

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