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Still from "The Royal Tenenbaums"
Stills from "The Royal Tenenbaums"via

100 Wes Anderson obsessives have turned his films into art

For its sixth annual Anderson-inspired show, a New York gallery pays tribute to the cinematic maestro

New York-based fans of Wes Anderson: clear your bespoke, graphically-symmetrical diaries. Nearly one hundred artists have reinterpreted the work of Anderson for a pop-up exhibition this weekend at New York’s Joseph Gross Gallery entitled “Bad Dads IV”. The exhibition is a colour wheel of Anderson trademarks that pepper his films: yellow, berets, a sense of overwhelming melancholy…

The Anderson-themed art show began when the idea struck gallery owner Ken Harman six years ago as something that would be “a lot of fun, just something cool to do”. Every year since, Harman has brought together artists willing to divulge their affection for everything Anderson’s films exemplify.

“Wes Anderson’s films have such wonderful colors, and composition, and all those things are very appealing to visual artists,” Harman tells Vogue. The exhibition – curated by Harman and Assistant Gallery Director Jessica Ross – features art based on all of his films, from Bottle Rocket to The Grand Budapest HotelAs for the name, “Bad Dads”, it could be a nod to the odd assortment of father figures that have populated his oeuvre.

Why do you think your annual Wes Anderson show resonates so much with people?

Jessica Ross: It’s a great unifier to say the least. So many people love Anderson’s films and the exhibition brings people into the gallery from all walks of life, creatives or otherwise.

What would you do if Wes himself turned up at the show?

Jessica Ross: We’d be so excited for him to see the show! I’d be pretty nervous around him though, being a brilliant maverick and whatnot.

How many submissions did you receive this year?

Jessica Ross: The exhibition is assembled through the combined curatorial efforts of gallery owner Ken Harman and myself. For this show we roughly have about 100 artists, it’s one of the biggest shows we’ve ever done. Each artist is hand picked to be in the show, so it’s quite an undertaking to say the least.

Why are people so obsessed with Anderson’s films in your opinion?

Jessica Ross: Anderson’s films, although incredibly stylised, almost verging on unreal – have a sincere and genuine charm. Each character is as meticulously crafted as Anderson’s impeccable sets, they have real depth.

Did you notice any trends in the submissions?

Jessica Ross: This year the obvious favourites for artists was The Grand Budapest Hotel and the short film before Darjeeling Limited, Hotel Chevalier, but of course there are plenty of great works inspired by The Royal Tenenbaums, Life Aquatic and Anderson’s others!

Bad Dads VI is on view August 7th - 9th, 2015 at Joseph Gross Gallery in New York City