About Sideshow

SIDESHOW…evolving since 1977.

Juxtapoz Magazine is the biggest selling art publication in the world. As with any creative, commercial venture, timing is crucial. There was a confluence of energy and activity preceding the birth of Juxtapoz that gave it legs to stand on. One, very significant and highly influential force was the visionary art extravaganza known as Sideshow.

Sideshow emerged during the genesis of the 1980’s New Pop movement in a post-Vietnam, post-Sesame Street, post-McDonald’s America. The Sideshows are gallery exhibitions presenting the creative work of diverse artists who share a common attitude. That attitude — over the years described by various names such as Pop-Surrealism, Lowbrow, New Contemporary, Underground — has been the hallmark of a generation seeking to stimulate, to grab attention and occasionally to shock.

These artists, now as well as then, are eclectic in their techniques, media, styles, influences and ideas. Yet they are linked by their shared faith in the power of highly personal images in an increasingly faceless society. They don’t smooth over the rough corners of their subjects, these creators express their unconventional and iconoclastic visions through irony, through turning familiar dimensions of the American Dream inside out or upside down, through brash colors, through exaggeration, and very often through humor. The humor is essential. It keeps self-righteousness and pretentiousness at a minimum, while highlighting the absurdity of so much of what passes as real life. Spanning four decades, the artists who exhibited in the Sideshows included a veritable Who’s Who in the realm of alternative art. Sideshow helped advance the career of legendary painter Robert Williams and launched the fine art careers of Todd Schorr and Mark Ryden, among others.

Sideshow aided in breaking down the wall between illustration, graphic design, and fine art as distinct disciplines. This type of activity is one of several steps needed to create a cultural movement: a change in the way a number of different disciplines approach their work. The effects of this are still being felt. The thinking that was codified then has since progressed to the point of being recognized as the history of alternative art’s true West Coast origins. Sideshow is treatise on the old and true augmenting the forces of the new and bold.

Our desire to share our passion for the new generation and new spirit of contemporary art and to help a progressive group of talented artists gain the recognition they deserve, motivated us to create this website and curate the unique art exhibition you are about to experience.

Welcome to Sideshow Fine Arts.