When the local, lovable, Greenpoint-based comedy troupe Serious Lunch (recent winners of the ECNY 2011 Award for Best Sketch Comedy), was working on a TV pilot, they needed a quick set dressing – so they hand-drew a bunch of movie posters and hung them on the wall.
“When we hung the first 12 or so in the apartment we were shooting in, and saw them all together tiled on the same wall, it was pretty striking,” says Tim Bierbaum, the main artist in the show. “And one of the early ones I drew, Blow Up, came out surprisingly well which I guess is when I decided there might be some genuinely interesting in drawing this.”
So they kept going, and the result is a show called Poster Party! which opens tonight, at Habitat, featuring hand drawn movie posters by Bierbaum and other Serious Lunch members Bob Officer and Anthony Miale, as well as collaborator Nicole Barth.
“Markers make things look childish and goofy,” adds Bierbaum, “which is a cool lens to see these things through. Translating the movie posters from photo to magic marker is sort of like recognizing how well designed they are.”
The group produced the series of posters sporadically over the course of a year, squeezing in work between their monthly sketch performances at The PIT and at Littlefield.
“This project was great because I could veg out on the couch all evening and still feel like I accomplished something,” Bierbaum adds.
The posters are mostly the ones you remember staring at on VHS boxes, such as Ghoulies, Party Girl, Krippendorf’s Tribe, and Scrooged, as well as some posters from more recent movies that are less iconic and more well-designed. Each poster is for sale, for the low price of $35.
“I pick movies based on how well I think I can reproduce them with markers, which doesn’t allow you to do anything like gradients or fades or things you usually see in a photo,” says Bierbaum. “And while I’m drawing something like the Scrooged poster, there’s a weird feeling, like I never thought I’d be sitting here drawing the Scrooged poster.”
Poster Party! opens tonight at 7pm at Habitat, on 988 Manhattan Ave. between Huron and India Streets in Greenpoint, and runs until May 16. You can see all the posters online at http://posterparty.tumblr.com.