Scumbags & Superstars is a newish Bushwick storefront that opened up this summer and stocks the brand’s own horror, skate inspired street-wear and other merch. But lately the shop has transformed into something of a gallery space as well. Tonight the shop will host an opening for “Panic Attack,” a solo exhibition curated by local artist Worm Carnevale featuring the work of Keith Caves.
“Keith’s a young, up-and-coming artist, 20 years old, from Pittsburgh,” Worm explained of the artist, whose work celebrates a distinct sub-culture. Worm describes it as, “scum horror.” But you might recognize the aesthetic from punk show fliers and skateboards. “The majority of the work is Madballs inspired– it’s gory, silly, very fantasy-oriented but also based on horror.”
Caves agreed and added that he takes notes from “old skate graphics, punk stuff, and Ed Roth — the dude who did all the hot rod monster graphics back in the 1950s.”
Though Caves said this was his first time in Bushwick, he’s got a healthy Instagram following, which is how Worm tracked him down. Cave’s work has traveled pretty far thanks to social media and the artwork he does for bands. One of the drawings he did for a band called Bat Zuppel ended up on some guy’s arm “all the way over in Germany or something.”
Worm explained the shop is all about showcasing art that’s accessible — in more ways than one. “I like art that automatically hits you,” he said. “A lot of times there’s this intellectual approach in the scene, and that’s not to say this type of work is not intellectual – but I think people find a much deeper connection with it and we don’t need to really explain the work intellectually. It kind of speaks for itself.”
Scumbags & Superstars also aims to make art available that people in the immediate community can buy. “We really believe in affordable art work,” Worm said. “I think a lot of people are dissatisfied with the whole art gallery scene, and we just want to make stuff affordable to the masses.”
Most of the original artwork at Scumbags’ shows is priced below $150, but Caves said he’ll be selling prints for $30 and original images for $80 to $100.
“Most artists that are doing affordable work aren’t spending huge amounts of time on work and it’s kind of a way for artists to showcase their talent,” Worm said. “Like, hey I can cook something up in two to three hours and it’s going to be amazing. We do offer prints, but it’s always nice to have an original piece of work for under $100 to $150.”
Worm agreed that affordable shops in Bushwick are “absolutely” a trend. “I think people are catching on whether it’s consciously or unconsciously,” he said. “But I think one of the things that separates us, besides content, is really the fact that our pricing is so affordable for originals. “
The opening runs from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. tonight. Worm promised “there will be beer there” and said he expects a good showing. “Last time [for Gun Show’s exhibition] we had about 150 people come through,” he said. “At past shows, people have been able to have a very personal connection with the artist due the intimate size of the space.” Caves will also be on deck to answer any questions about his work.