The compilation includes a brief introduction by Kevin Smith, and then dives right into the art, a selection of pieces from the annual 'Crazy 4 Cult' show at LA-based Gallery 1988. (The fifth annual show is set to open on July 8th.) The show has been incredibly well-received by both common folks and celebs alike, and has attracted high-profile buyers like Joss Whedon. J.J. Abrams, Jonah Hill, Judd Apatow and Edgar Wright.
Moviefone caught up with Gallery 1988 owner (and admitted movie geek) Jensen Karp to chat about everything from the history of the show to who owns the largest collection of Kevin Smith-inspired artwork in the world. You may have noticed the awesome artwork accompanying this article – all four of these pieces can be found in the 'Crazy 4 Cult' book.
What prompted the Crazy 4 Cult series?
I'm a major cinephile. That's what I geek out about. We had become friends with Scott Mosier, who's the producer of 'Clerks' and 'Mallrats' and all of the Kevin Smith movies. One day he asked me what's coming up. I said I've got this idea, I want to do a movie-themed show, but only cult films. He said "Can I tell Kevin? I think that sounds awesome." He called me later and said Kevin loves it, he talked to Quentin Tarantino and he talked to Edgar Wright and they love it. Basically it just snowballed from there and Kevin's been involved since day one.
I read that Joss Whedon has bought a piece, do you remember what he bought?
I don't remember! It's been a couple of years. I think he bought a superhero-inspired piece, but I'm not 100 percent sure. Jonah Hill has been a big buyer at Crazy 4 Cult shows in the past. We've had some really fun people come through. Pete Wentz has bought at the Crazy 4 Cult shows. The fact that we can get people who are in movies to come out to the show and buy something has been a super blessing.
Have you ever been there when an actor or actress comes in and sees themselves reflected in the art?
Oh, all the time! It happens almost every show. Samuel L Jackson walked in just because he was walking by (I think) and he was like, "Wha???" We wound up giving him a poster of himself and he was totally into it.
We just did a show in [our second location in] Venice that celebrates the anniversary of 'Wet Hot American Summer.' I contacted [director] David Wain, he ended up hosting it and he brought Ken Marino and Joe Lo Truglio. Paul Rudd bought a piece, Chris Meloni bought a piece. Edgar Wright has bought 'Shaun of the Dead' pieces. It's kind of crazy. They love seeing what other people take out of the movies. Kevin buys all of the Kevin Smith pieces. He always says in what other lifetime am I going to be able to buy paintings of myself at an art show?
So he scoops them all up?
Yes. He's bought a couple of other pieces, too. He owns a Shepard Fairey from 'They Live.' I know he has a 'Strange Brew' piece. He's definitely the owner of the most Kevin Smith-inspired art in the world, that's for sure.
What about J.J. Abrams, do you remember what he bought?
J.J. bought from our 'Twilight Zone'-inspired show. Also we worked with J.J. The final season of 'Lost', we did the viral marketing campaign, which involved all those posters and paintings and the art show and everything. He has an amazing Alex Pardee piece from the 'Lost' show in his office.
What films do potential buyers ask for the most?
It's funny. People love 'Lebowski,' which is not shocking. People love 'Office Space' and 'Willy Wonka.' We've sold every 'Boondock Saints' piece we've ever put in. Every 'Goonies'-inspired piece has come through. 'A Clockwork Orange' does well.
Crazy 4 Cult: Cult Movie Art is out June 21st from Titan Books. © 2011 Gallery 1988. All rights reserved. All art © the respective artists. Used with permission.