I first met Justin Hillgrove (and Mike Capp) at the Northwest Folklife festival in Seattle last year.
Before that day, I had no idea I’d ever want to collect art the way I’ve been collecting art – specifically, Justin’s. I saw “Party Crasher” (pictured below) and was able to name darn near every character in the painting. His style immediately drew me closer, and that’s where I discovered a nefarious cast of cartoon characters from my childhood. He-Man (and the Masters of the Universe), Thundercats, and GI Joe. In fact, Justin was shocked to find out that I could correctly name BOTH Hordak and Mumm-ra without hesitation.
While I didn’t pick up any original works that day, I’ve purchased several since. Mostly his smaller canvas paintings, which you would find scattered throughout my home. I also picked up a print of “Party Crasher” and had it hanging in my dining room.
A couple of days ago, he posted new artwork to his site – impsandmonsters.com – and sent out an email newsletter. I snapped up the top four originals so quickly that he didn’t even have time to change the page before subsequent orders blasted in.
Justin was able to get them to me quickly, including the one you see hanging to the far left (which I believe is “Support Group”). He also mentioned that “Party Crasher” was currently hanging at the Twilight art gallery in West Seattle. I had NO IDEA it was still available!
“Party Crasher” features a scene depicting a party held to celebrate He-Man villain Skeletor’s birthday. While the fiendish bunch are celebrating heavily, an unexpected guest has arrived to crash the party. His unique style comes out with his unique interpretations of the iconic cast.
I called this morning and decided that it would be amazing to cherish the very first Hillgrove I saw. And so, my friends, it’s my intention to turn this home into the world’s largest Justin Hillgrove gallery (which will take time).