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Horror Art + GG Allin Live On at Think Tank Gallery’s, Traphouse LA | Closing Party 11.5 |

Featuring work by the legendary dick smith, Anthony lister, Mike Hill, Andrew Freeman (Immortal Mask), Blake Neubert, Cig Neutron, Scott Hove, Ave Rose, Ben Ploughman, Carl Lyon, and many more; some artists with work solidified in the art historical canon at Guillermo del Toro’s groundbreaking Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) exhibit.
    What do you get when you mix horror art, cannabis comedy shows, serial-killer speed-dating and a GG Allin inspired interactive escape room built by one of Universal Studios Japan's top designers??? A nightmarish trip down memory lane with some of the industry’s most legendary monster and SFX makeup artists and one hell of a good time.
      Think Tank Gallery teamed up with Universal Studios Japan's escape room designer Adam Milicevic & 13th floor's Evan Hedges to put an escape room in an art gallery and make escapees into art. Voyeuristic peeks from the gallery into a horrific story of human trafficking and organ harvesting inspired by legendary punk rocker GG Allin's ghost. Jacob Michael Patterson and Patrick Nissim are the faces of Think Tank Gallery. The young gallery directors have been making headlines since earlier this year with the successful Break Bread installation spanning the length of the entire gallery featuring the work of Scott Hove and Baker's Son. TraphouseLA has been generating headlines with the amount of talent on display, another reason people are so drawn to it is for the interactive escape room built and designed specifically for this month that has been generating lots of buzz.
        How did Think Tank Gallery and Universal Japan’s Adam Milicevic collaboration come about?
          Jacob Michael Patterson: The owner of Think Tank Productions, John Kennamann, has been casting reality television for many years. He has a brain that's used to inventing reality shows and games, and it sounds laughable but that has provided a super fresh perspective on how to run a gallery. It's the most LA thing ever, but John casted Adam on a show called FaceOFF on SyFy. Adam was a fan fave (in fact he is on the new All Stars season) and they hit us with the idea of doing an escape room inside of art show and we jumped at it. We had been trying to figure out how to do an SFX makeup show in our street/post-street art gallery for three Halloweens – Trap House was it.
            Patrick Nissim: The idea was floated by us to produce a show with these vfx artists and once we put our heads together, we think we came up with something that really worked well.
              Why did you make GG allin the subject of the escape room?
                PN: We wanted to stay away from the stereotypical tropes that escape rooms usually adopt. A zombie apocalypse, detective office, and nuclear fallout - all of these things had sort of been done before. I wanted to channel a narrative that felt more true to our brand and GG Allin was a great vessel for that. He was a gnarly psychopath who just happened to be a punk rock demigod of sorts. There are rock icons that were crazy, but GG was sort of a different breed. He took it to maniacal extremes and did so effortlessly. Not to mention, he was interviewed by Geraldo at some point and, to paraphrase, essentially admitted that if he wasn’t a musician he’d be a serial killer or mass murderer.
                  Can you tell us about some of the pieces you have on display; David Lynch sculptures, Kurt Cobain, Ren and Stimpy, the BDSM mask, taxidermy?
                    JMP: The show was curated by an artist named Ian Von Cromer, also from FaceOFF. He hooked us up with some of the most incredible talent in the industry. Mike Hill made a bunch of the amazing sculptures that are at LACMA right now, and my favorite piece of his that he's ever made, the excavated Frankenstein Monster, is in our gallery right now. It's an insane honor to have this stuff here.
                      Andrew Freeman's Ren and Stimpy pieces, titled Happy, Happy and Joy, Joy are the most photographed in the show. Immortal Masks, where Freeman is the lead artist, is exploding in popularity right now and we are catching him right on the tip of the wave. It's all thanks to our owner John and curator Ian.
                        PN: The Ren and Stimpy masks alone have had an immense response, especially online. People are enamored with the idea of seeing their childhood cartoon brought into a hyperrealistic form for them to look at. Tiny Rick from Rick and Morty has also been a hit for a similar reason. But piece’s like Mike Hill’s centerpiece and Catherine Coan’s amazing taxidermy all helps shape a different, but equally complimentary perspective for gallery attendees.
                          What was the inspiration to have special fx sculptors within the exhibit? It's an art form that is rarely celebrated within the art gallery world, did the artists appreciate the inclusion?
                            JMP: I gotta say it's been hard to put a finger on this work and who the audience is for it. The artists know better than we do. I think in LA it's obvious that everyone loves it – this is where movies are made and the film industry has taken this new embrace of the old media – but I think with us just dipping our toes in the waters of the industry it's more exciting for the artists to be all together than anything. I don't think too many galleries show this type of work (besides the obvious trail blazers like Escalante and Copro) so honestly we are outsiders looking in here. These artists are chemists. They are engineers. They are inventors. And we are simply in awe of them; I think they see each other and are excited to be all-together, more than to be associated with us, per se.
                              You have weekly interactive programming that includes Serial Killer Speed Dating, a Cannabis comedy night, standup comedy and The Rope. How did you come up with this programming? What made you decide to add stand up with such a darkly themed show?
                                JMP: Mixing stand up and art is a supremely underrated combo. Night Gallery does it, and I suppose we are taking a page from their book though we've been doing it for years. When we collaborated with Basic Flowers, for example, the comics all made fun of the fact that they were in an escape room. One guy wrapped his set by saying, "stand up is not enough in LA. This is the only town where it's like, 'sure it's stand up, but is it in a haunted house?"
                                  He was mocking us openly and we thought it was hilarious, but he kinda has a point. In LA we love to take things that don't match up and smash them together to create something new. Improv too: John Gilkey who runs Wet The Hippo is an absolute genius and deserves praise on high for every activation he does. Supper clubs: another area where people are innovating. It's a crime against humanity that Monkeytown is over forever, and we hope to carry that spirit along with events like Mbombo's supper to honor the dark forces of African folklore. Art is better when one opens the soul, and sick programming can do that.
                                    Also, Serial Killer Speed Dating is fucking dope and I can't wait to work with Abel again. It was such a sick event. Great add-on for any art show. I hope every gallery and museum in LA books him for every show they do.
                                      PN: The model of how we put on our major shows (i.e. month-long, lounge in the back, experiential exhibition in front) is rooted in inviting subgroups in our community to learn about us and vice versa. Many people visit our gallery for the first time, having been familiar with the lounge programming but not our space. Our fan base is introduced to new events that they haven’t heard of either. So as long as we find a thread that ties an event to the show, we usually go for it. In the case of stand-up, personally I think I was just interested in hearing what they’d have to say about the surroundings.
                                        Did you hit up specific talent from a wish list?
                                          I have never been involved in a show that has built its artist list in a more organic way than this one. The artists all invited each other. We had very little to do with it.
                                            What do you have planned for Halloween?
                                              JMP: Halloween will probably be quiet. We will be running the escape room and letting people come see the show, but it's a big party day so we're letting people go out and do their thing. The night before though, the 30th, the producers of Brokechella are throwing a big ghost stories and cocktails event called Spiritspirit to honor Hallow's Eve, and on November 5th we are throwing the illest party we have thrown in a very long time, with folks from CybersonicLA and Boiler Room. That one is a secret though.
                                                What can we expect to see during the closing?
                                                  JMP: kinda answered above ;)
                                                    PN: The closing party is a free DJ party where everyone is going to be having a wild time. While it’s a little after Halloween (November 5th) we still hope the draw of making it out for one last trip to check this stuff out and celebrate the event will prove to be a killer time. Frankly the not charging - tickets - at - the - door - thing is a relief - I want people to come enjoy themselves with no strings attached.
                                                      In addition to hosting Halloween staples like “ALONE: An Existential Haunting” and Drunken Devil Productions over the last few seasons, Think Tank Gallery has spent the past six years converting their 13,500 sq. ft. warehouse into one of DTLA’s most formidable names in immersive art. Since joining local and international brands to build everything from reactive skate parks to functional coffee shop sculptures. Their most recent collaboration with Cirque du Soleil invited over 30,000 guests from around the world to walk through a large cake-​themed installation, highlighted by a new cultural event each night. ​http://thinktank.gallery
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