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Kotaku

February 13th, 2011
These Video Games Are Now Art

Luke Plunkett

For the next week, the CRG Gallery in Chelsea, New York, will play host to an artist who slips video games like Civilization and Street Fighter into his work.

By “employing the visual language of engravings writ in the modern medium of ballpoint pen”, as the exhibition’s press release tells us, artist Butt Johnson “generates a hybrid form of imagery, allowing the drawings to function as present-day artifacts from a bygone era.”

What this means is he uses a pen to make old-fashioned drawings out of new-fangled media properties. Like a colonial world map that’s actually the board from RISK, surrounded by characters from Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter. Or a beautiful image of the Tower of Babel, which isn’t actually an image of the tower at all, instead being a recreation of the intro movie from Civilization III.

Johnson’s exhibition runs until February 19. CRG can be found at 548 West 22nd Street, New York.