The following is an interview with artist Brandon Bird, who is one of the curators of the upcoming The JP Show, an art show 65 million years in the making and focused completely on the human characters from Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park film! The exhibit runs December 3rd and 4th, 2011, and is being held at Nucleus in Alhambra, California. (Click HERE for details about the exhibit and a list of participating artists.)
Bird shared his thoughts with Fanboy Comics President Bryant Dillon on the inspiration for his unique and exciting exhibit, what makes the characters of Jurassic Park perfect for this kind of show, and whether you can bring a Velociraptor as your date.
This interview was conducted on Thursday, December 1, 2011.
Bryant Dillon, Fanboy Comics President: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, how you got involved in the arts, and where we might find your work?
Brandon Bird: I’ve always been into drawing and painting, and I’ve been putting my stuff online since 2002, and that’s gradually turned into my full-time job/existence. Most of my stuff involves messing around with pop culture and different styles of art, and an outgrowth of that was wanting to see what other artists would do with a given concept. That’s why I started putting together group shows.
BD: Can you explain what The JP Show is and how it got started?
BB: It’s an idea I had for a while now– my thinking was that it’d be funny to take a movie about cloned dinosaurs and zero in on the most mundane aspect of it (the people). I initially pictured a room full of very straightforward, kinda boring portraits, but I wondered, “Maybe that’s *too* boring?” I brought on my friend, Julia Vickerman, as a co-curator, because she was one of the first people to say, “NO, that is an amazing idea, it needs to happen.” And, fortunately, what seems to have happened is that the artists have used the limitation to their advantage and created some totally insane, non-boring pieces.
BD: Focusing on the human characters of Jurassic Park is a pretty unique concept! Were there any particular inspirations that made you go this direction with The JP Show?
BB: Well, first and foremost is the fact that the first Jurassic Park film really is mostly people; it’s really conservative with its dinosaurs. And, as an artist, you notice that each character has his or her very distinct look and color palette (like they all got fresh denim shirts when they stopped at the airport). So, I thought there were a lot of things in there to build on.
BD: A number of artists are participating in the show, and you have some awesome preview images of some of their work at brandonbird.com. I know you probably don’t want to play favorites, but are there any specific pieces that you think are going to be a real hit with the Jurassic Park fans out there?
BB: I’ve put together five group shows now, and without a doubt this one has produced the most hilarious stuff. Everyone has gone the extra mile, but the hit from the previews seems to be John Larriva’s “Ian Malcolm: From Chaos.” And, there’s one from Erin Pearce that’s going to explode people’s heads. Without spoiling things, I’ll just say: beetle taxidermy.
BD: If The JP Show goes well, will we have other Brandon Bird, pop culture-inspired art shows to look forward to? Got any ideas in mind you’d care to share?
BB: For certain, but I don’t know what or when or where. There are so many pop-culture group art shows that get put on now, that whatever it is will have to be a really special idea.
BD: This is Fanboy Comics and we like to ask a few “geeky” questions in all of our interviews, so here they are! Hold onto your butts! Raptor vs. T-Rex? Who’s walking out of the ring?
BB: Real velociraptors were the size of golden retrievers, so I’m saying T-rex.
BD: We know it’s the “just people” show, but are Raptors going to be allowed in? (They can open doors, you know.)
BB: They’ve been testing the fences systematically for weaknesses. They remember.
BD: Can you get Jurassic Park back online without Dennis Nedry?
BB: If we go through the computer’s lines of code one by one.
BD: Do you think they’ll have that on the tour?
BB: Remind me to thank John for a lovely weekend.
BD: And, finally, what do you call a blind dinosaur? What do you call a blind dinosaur’s dog?
BB: Didjathinkhesaaurs. Didjathinkhesaurus rex.