How a Star Wars Art Show Came to Be
Liz Ohanesian It's not a Star Wars art party unless there are Stormtroopers
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The star of L.A.-based artist Lekit's Opheleia looks like she's had a brutal day. Her cheeks are sunken, her eyes dazed. Her dress falls off her shoulders, revealing an impressive tattoo collection, many of which are related to Star Wars. Cigarette smoke rises up towards her disheveled Princess Leia-inspired hairstyle. "She's the ultimate Star Wars fan," says Lekit, who only goes by her first name.
You know that feeling you get when you're marathoning your way through the entire Star Wars collection? Lekit describes it as being "all strung out" and that's what she wanted to capture in Opheleia. It's intense. Being a Star Wars fan can be intense. At the same time Disney sent out its official press release that J.J. Abrams would be directing a seventh film in the franchise, as fans were debating the appropriateness of giving Star Wars to a Star Trek director, crowds had gathered at Guilty Studios in Atwater Village to check out a whole lot of art based on the famed movies. There was no cheeky title for the event, just a simple "Star Wars Themed Art Show" promoted by local artists Deadmundo and Sketch and filled with paintings, digital art, sculpture and even photography.
Inside the venue, it was Star Wars re-imagined for Los Angeles, where oil portraits mixed with comic book-inspired pieces, tattoo references and pin-up art. Lekit's twin sister, Leka Im, went the pin-up route, posing her Leia up against a Stormtrooper ice cream cone. The sisters, who were born in Thailand and raised in the L.A. area, have been Star Wars fans since childhood. Getting to be a part of this show, Leka says, is "an opportunity to bring out what we love everyday."
Liz Ohanesian Sisters Lekit and Leka show off their work for Star Wars Themed Art Show
"We're totally nerding out tonight," adds Lekit.
Edmundo "Deadmundo" Duran and Oscar "Sketch" Navarro have been putting together art shows for the past four years. The two artists/promoters attended Cal State Northridge together and started out with shows held on the patios of L.A. bars. They tired of that after a while and, last year, beefed up the events. They got some art spaces involved -- Guilty was actually the site of their first big show -- and sponsors like Pabst Blue Ribbon. Deadmundo and Sketch shows, which usually happen monthly at different venues, are often themed. Previously, they've covered Batman, skulls, Lotería and lots of zombies. Navarro estimates that they've put together more than 10 shows revolving around zombies