The Artcade Show Opens Tonight at Parazol Studios in Downtown Phoenix
When Japanese video game manufacturer Taito first released Double Dragon in the U.S. around 25 years ago, the legendary urban brawling game wound up one of the signature arcade titles of the '80s with its pimp pixilated graphics and intense "beat 'em up" action. According to Ariel Bracamonte, however, the artwork adorning its wooden cabinet was neither eye-catching nor action-packed.
Photos by Benjamin Leatherman Three of the artistically redesigned arcade games that will be included in Artcade.
"The original decal on the side of the game was plain gray with red triangles and just said 'Taito' on it," Bracamonte says. After renowned ink-slingers Chris Rupp and Luis Keys each created tattoo-style dragons on either side of the cabinet, however, the game has a more wicked-looking appearance befitting its intense nature.
Such is one of the many purposes of The Artcade Show, which debuts tonight at Parazol Studios, which features 25 different games that renowned creative types from Arizona and throughout the U.S. have transformed into playable pieces of art.
Double Dragon's new look, courtesy of Chris Rupp and Luis Keys.
Bracamonte, who organized the exhibition along with business partner Nico Paredes, have been pretty swamped this past week getting the show ready for tonight, including fetching the finished arcade games from each of the artists.
"Basically, we knew going in that there were people who were going to need extra time, so we've been patiently waiting to pickup their games," Bracamonte says.
It's been hectic, he says, especially since a few artists have been waiting up until the last minute to complete their creations, but he admits such consternation is worth it, considering the quality of the artwork they've seen.
"There's really some great stuff coming from each of the artists," Bracamonte says. "We've got graffiti artists, street artists, tattoers, and graphic designers all making these games look good. We wanted to incorporate every kind of art possible and see what everybody could come up with."