COMIC-CON 2010: Silent Stage Gallery’s twisted takes on Disney icons — what would Walt think?

July 24, 2010 | 6:44 p.m.

BOOTH PROFILE: SILENT STAGE GALLERY

Panda

At the Silent Stage Gallery booth, Disney appeared to be the ultimate source of inspiration for mixed-media works from a handful of artists who offered twisted takes on characters originating from the “happiest place on Earth.”

Is this what Walt Disney envisioned?

There was the classic imagery of Mickey Mouse’s iconic gloved mitts from “Fantasia.” But in the world of Silent Stage, the hands — just the hands, no Mickey — formed a rapper version of an L.A. sign in one print, with the background looking like a scene from a ’90s rap video rather than weaving that Disney whimsy and magic. The L.A. sign was a hit as attendees lined up to have artist dissizit personalize a cutout of the hands.

Stitch 2

Lilo & Stitch,” from the 2002 animated film, also got the Silent Stage treatment. Stitch, the beloved little critter with a penchant for Elvis tunes was transformed into a demented version of itself for a line of toys. In addition to “angry” Stitch, there was also an “OG” (original gangster) version of the pint-sized alien creature.

Next to Stitch was what appeared to be an artist’s take on DreamWorks’ “Kung Fu Panda” — but on steroids and acid, with a bulging body and menacing face. In addition to mini resin sculptures, there were pillows, prints and even an ottoman bearing the deranged panda’s likeness.

Artist Aaron “Angry Woebots” Martin has been bringing his brand of ferocious art to the exhibit hall since 2005. And, he says, it all started – like most great art – as an accident.

“It’s actually a variation of a mistake on a Hawaiian panda [I wanted to create],” he said motioning toward the dozens of products bearing the image. “The panda is always cute and cuddly. And I was trying to draw that … but it kept coming out looking like a grizzly bear.”

– Gerrick D. Kennedy

Photo credit: Gerrick D. Kennedy

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