By now, it is almost impossible to fathom the collective impression The Simpsons has made on Western culture. The word d'oh now appears in the Unabridged Oxford English Dictionary. Embattled British Prime Minister Tony Blair recently appeared on an episode, perhaps hoping such a move would provide the opposite effect of Bush's maligned visit to Britain. Americans love their Simpsons, after all, so maybe an appearance would help Blair gain some acceptance here, where he is often viewed as either Bush's toady or his accomplice in war crimes. Meanwhile, The Simpsons themselves, despite appearing to have an effect on everything from pop culture to British foreign policy, have maintained what made them great. The show steadfastly refuses to jump the shark; this is best realized through the fact that the show's writers refuse even to have the characters age over the years. No cartoon in the history of animation has had such a wide-ranging effect or enjoyed such popularity.
So the American Royal Arts Corp.'s new Entertainment Fine Art Gallery should give itself a pat on the back for making its inaugural exhibit "D'oh -- The Art of the Simpsons." The month-long exhibit opens Friday and features a wide range of media that all include The Simpsons in some way. The usual flotsam and jetsam of an animated series winds up hanging on the walls of Entertainment Fine Art in the form of original production cels, drawings, sericels, and other bits and pieces that go into creating a cartoon. But along with these pieces, Simpsons artist Bill Morrison displays original, signed art, and 3-D pop artist Tim West has put together Simpsons images using simple pieces of paper -- rather along the lines of the South Park style of animation, only with a bit more dedication to detail.
You can meet West and get a first look at the exhibit during the gallery's grand opening and reception from 7 to 11 p.m. Friday.
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