Buggin & Shruggin: A Glitched History of Gaming Culture

June 20, 2015 – March 6, 2016

Exhibition Overview

What happens when you offer a talented, visionary muralist over 981 square feet of blank white walls, as much paint as he needs, and the request that he paint anything he wants about video games? You get Michael Roy’s Buggin & Shruggin: A Glitched History of Gaming Culture. That is, you get a glorious, monumental mural of gaming characters in pulsating colors, all interwoven with game controls and pixelated backdrops. Many of the figures are familiar; who doesn’t recognize an Angry Bird or a Mutant Ninja Turtle? But Roy (better known as Birdcap Shruggin) has freed these characters from their crisp, glowing digital settings and—along with artists Brandon Marshall and Lance Turner—painted them directly on the museum’s walls. And here, the characters take on new lives. Pacman for instance, is transformed into a nightmarish hybrid of his benevolent self and Xipe Totec, Aztec god of death and rebirth, while Bart Simpson has morphed into a disjointed, three-eyed mega-brat.