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Artwork for Bill You Murray Me? was submitted by more than 100 fans
Bill Murray’s name has become synonymous with a lot of things: paranormal activities, groundhog sightings, and aquatic explorers are just a few of the subjects that have been Murray-fied into cultural touchstones. Now the actor is also being recognized as a modern-day objet d’art.
That will change February 18 at The FALL Tattooing and Art Gallery at 644 Seymour. Bill You Murray Me is a multimedia exhibit featuring Murray-inspired art that so far has collected over 100 entries.
To get the ball rolling, organizer Christina Chant hosted painting and drawing parties that produced several of the pieces that will be on display. But much of the art – the majority, in fact – has come from outside Chant’s circle.
“The cool thing is people listened to what I requested when I said that any medium is welcome and no talent is necessary,” says the 25-year-old outreach nurse and Burning Man enthusiast.
The artwork ranges from photo collages to an urn to a knitted piece, all featuring Murray’s smug mug. Overwhelmingly, the actor’s turn as the titular undersea adventurer in the Wes Anderson movie The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou has proved to be his most iconic role, at least for artists submitting to Bill You Murray Me.
So popular is Zissou that the Aquatic-inspired art will likely have its own section, says Chant. “I even sent out an e-mail asking people to try something different.”
She’s noticed that the artists seem to be equally divided between male and female. “It’s a bit of the James Bond effect; where the women love him and the men want to be him,” says Chant.
She “hit it off with Bill” (in her words) with the Anderson films (Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic), as well as Lost in Translation. She admits she finally got around to watching Groundhog Day just this year, though.
But the project owes as much to annual counterculture event Burning Man and action star Steven Seagal as it does to Ghostbusters or any other Murray flick. A friend of Chant’s had been talking for years about putting up an art exhibit featuring Seagal, and last year Chant organized just such a “Steven Seagallery” at Burning Man. With the leftover art, she put on the Steven Seagallery in Vancouver at Toast Collective last fall.
Inspired by that show’s success – it received over 50 submissions – she decided to do something but with a less ironic twist. “The funny thing about Steven Seagal is I’ve never watched any of his movies,” says Chant.
Besides the art, Bill You Murray Me will have a DJ – Chant’s roommate Stephen Timoney – and will feature “one interpretive dance and one performance piece,” according to the Port Coquitlam native. “And someone’s bringing a a six-foot tall Bill, that people can take pictures with.”