BY CHRISTINE FERNANDO
Movie monsters and robots replace portraits and landscapes at Bloomington’s latest addition to the art scene. That’s because Delinquent Gallery co-owners Chris McVillain and Brian Aldridge wanted a space where they could showcase what they call “lowbrow art.”
“A lot of galleries don’t want pop culture and horror and sci-fi,” Aldridge says. “It’s pulp. But that’s where all the progressive stories come from.”
Aldridge says Bloomington galleries tend to favor earth tones, feathers, and wood—a stark contrast to his splatter-punk style. “We like that, but that’s not us,” he explains.
A Greenwood, Indiana-based spray-paint artist, Aldridge, 31, has co-run two Indianapolis gallery spaces. He uses bright neon and contrasting dark tones in his depictions of pop culture icons—everything from Riverdale characters to horror movie villains.
McVillain, 39, has lived in Bloomington since 2016. Originally from Kentucky, he’s a tattoo artist and his shop, Tattoo Kaiju, is located within Delinquent Gallery, 300 E. 3rd St. Suite D, which opened in July.
McVillain and Aldridge met at Indiana Comic Con in 2016. At subsequent horror and comic cons, they hatched their plan for a gallery in Bloomington, a city they saw as a hub for the weird and the progressive because of the large number of artists and a creative student population.
Their first show, Kai-July, featured monster-themed artwork, including Godzilla prints and Mothra (a recurring monster in the Godzilla series) cross stitches. “It’s exactly what we’re all about,” McVillain say. “Lowbrow, stupid ideas through a fine arts lens.”
But, Aldridge says, they’re not looking for fan art, and while it may be difficult to see what separates that from the lowbrow, McVillain says he knows it when he sees it. “I guess the inspiration behind it is the most important factor,” he says.
Shows featuring individual artists are in the works, as is affordable artwork in the form of stickers, pins, and more.
“There are literally no restrictions here,” Aldridge says. “It’s called Delinquent Gallery for a reason. There are no rules.”