Collection of Star Wars-Inspired Insect Art Is Coming to Los Angeles Gallery

Richard Wilkinson
Richard Wilkinson

The Star Wars universe is known for its larger-than-life spaceships, weapons, and characters. For his new gallery exhibition, "Arthropoda Iconicus," artist Richard Wilkinson decided to take a different approach. As Gizmodo reports, he has reimagined pieces of Star Wars iconography as new species of insects.

The creepy collection goes on display at the Hero Complex Gallery in Los Angeles on September 6. At first glance, the bugs look like specimens you'd find at a natural history museum. But pop culture connoisseurs will recognize that each critter is inspired by something from a movie, television show, video game, comic book, or even a popular product or brand.

The Star Wars-inspired insects are the stars of the show. R2-D2 has been reinterpreted as a beetle dubbed Robodoubus deoduoubus, and Yoda appears as Dominos magister. C-3PO, a stormtrooper, and Darth Vader are all represented, too.

R2-D2 beetle.
Richard Wilkinson

C3PO bug.
Richard Wilkinson

Yoda insect.
Richard Wilkinson

Stormtrooper as bug.
Richard Wilkinson

Book of Star Wars icons as bugs.
Richard Wilkinson

Many of the works on display are taken from Wilkinson's book Arthropoda Iconicus Volume I: Insects From A Far Away Galaxy. All 148 pieces in the exhibit will be available to purchase for $20 as 8-inch-by-10-inch prints when the show opens Friday. The art will also sold through Hero Complex's website starting at 11:00 a.m. PST on September 7.

[h/t Gizmodo]

Occupy White Walls: Free Video Game Lets You Design Your Own Virtual Art Gallery

Occupy White Walls, Kickstarter
Occupy White Walls, Kickstarter

Museums around the world have been closed for weeks in light of the COVID-19 crisis, and art lovers are craving culture any way they can get it. If you've already remotely toured every exhibit that's available online, now you can build your own art gallery from scratch. As Smithsonian reports, Occupy White Walls is a free video game that allows you to curate the museum exhibits of your dreams at home.

The game, now available to download on Steam, lets you customize every element of your virtual gallery. You can model it after your favorite museum from real life—with marble floors and white walls—or take the design in a more creative direction. The museums can house indoor fields, float in the middle of bodies of water, or exist in space.

After building the structure itself, it's time to decide what to fill it with. The video game features a catalog of more than 6000 real-life artworks to display in your museum. If you're not sure where to start, the AI program Daisy will suggest pieces based on your personal taste. You also have the freedom to create custom mosaics, explores other players' galleries, and create collaborative designs in multiplayer mode.

Though an early version of Occupy White Walls is already available online, the game's creators hope to raise money to improve the game through Kickstarter. So far the team has raised more than $40,000 of its $122,869 goal, with the campaign set to end on April 28. You can back the Kickstarter today to get access to special in-game features.

[h/t Smithsonian]

Installation Artist Shing Yin Khor Is Recreating Famous Artworks in Animal Crossing: New Horizons


Animal Crossing: New Horizon for the Nintendo Switch is no longer just a way to virtually make friends, catch bugs, and accrue debt in quarantine. On Shing Yin Khor's island, the video game is a place to experience recreations of contemporary art installations from the real world.

As Polygon reports, Khor is an actual installation artist whose work has slowed considerably since the start of the novel coronavirus pandemic. With art museums closed across the country, they decided to build one of their own within the world of the game. "Screw you, Blathers," Khor tweeted, calling out the owl curator of the island's rival nature museum, "imma gonna build MoMA."

Khor's Animal Crossing installation includes digital versions of Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty, Barbara Kruger’s Untitled, and Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s The Umbrellas. There was even an interactive exhibit players could experience by visiting the island via online play. As was the case with Marina Abramović's The Artist Is Present, Khor's avatar sat at a table across from an empty chair while virtual guests took turns sitting down. According to one Twitter user who participated, the experience was "surprisingly emotional."

Unable to visit museums in real life, art lovers are finding creative ways to stay connected to culture. If you don't have the energy to build your own museum in Animal Crossing, here are a dozen institutions you can tour online.

[h/t Polygon]