They’ve been working on the exhibit since late December, creating portraits of iconic video game characters and other pieces for the show. “We want to ... help people time-travel back to the age of arcade games,” Such says.
By Monday, the artwork was being installed at Vision Gallery, a nonprofit art space run by the city of Chandler. It’s headed by Peter Bugg, who serves as the city’s visual arts coordinator. “We wanted to create a sense of nostalgia,” Bugg says.
Arcade games were big in the 1980s, when Such used to take sons Christian and Champ to GameWorks inside Arizona Mills mall in Tempe. It closed down in 2016, but that didn’t dampen their passion for arcade culture.
“The exhibit goes hand in hand with who I was in the ‘80s,” Such says. “I’d have a game token in my hand and a marker or some spray paint in my pocket.” Back then, he sometimes sported a Members Only jacket. Today, both father and son wear black pants and shirts, plus black baseball caps with graffiti-inspired pins and patches.
Champ is expecting his own child now, but Such still loves talking about Champ’s younger days.
“When he was in the womb, he was always punching, so we called him Champ,” Such says. And Such still keeps a corrugated metal panel Champ painted in the back yard when he was about 11 years old. “He dipped into my vintage Krylon paints to do that one,” Such says.
A DJ who likes folding in video game audio effects will perform that night, and visitors sporting ‘80s gear will get a custom button designed by Champ.
“We’re excited to see all the kids who’ve only played on a hand-held device and never dropped a token into an arcade game,” Such says. But they’re also eager to see the reaction of people who grew up hanging out in the arcades.
Such says, “This exhibit is all about having fun.”
The "Two Players, Two Quarters" opening reception is planned for Friday, February 21, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Vision Gallery, 10 East Chicago Street, Chandler.