Loot Check: CorpseLoot Visits the Dark Side of Burbank at the Hyaena Gallery

GalleryHyaena

This post contains material of a mature and adult nature.  Viewer Discretion is Advised…

When it comes to things to see in Los Angeles, there’s quite a bit. But one small stop is easy to miss: The Hyaena Gallery. A veritable little shop of horrors, the Hyaena Gallery is home to a large amount of paintings, sculptures, posters, and MUCH more. Each piece has one thing in common: it’s highly unusual. Some might say macabre, or dark. Perhaps even ghoulish. And I mean that in the most complimentary way possible.

Left to right, Bill Shafer owner and operator of Hyaena Gallery along with his right hand, Brian Bubonic.

Located in Little Burbank, the Hyaena Gallery is surprisingly small. However, once you step inside, you’ll forget all about it, as you’re confronted by all the curiosities that the owner, Bill Shafer, has amassed. Pieces from various artists cover every inch of the wall, with sculptures and various other works spread throughout the rest of the space. Their site describes their pieces as dark, lowbrow, underground and outsider art, and I can’t really explain it much better myself. 

Many of the pieces are enjoyable merely from an artistic standpoint, however many also hold a level of fascination because of their creators. Many of the pieces come from some of America’s top serial killers and criminal minds.

You’ll find the likes of Charles Manson, Jeffery Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, Ted Bundy and more. Much of these were created during their time in prison, and you can almost feel as if a piece of their soul was poured into it, if only as some form of escaping their imprisonment. This factor alone imbues these pieces with an almost hypnotic quality, and you could spend hours just looking at these pieces alone.

Another portion of the pieces come from a cornucopia of artists that are represented and featured at the gallery. There are many who stick to a prevalent theme with their work, though many seem to craft whatever strike their fancy. The one common factor they all share is the gallery’s standard for dark, outsider art.

Whether it’s the pope eating babies, devilish imps causing mayhem, an Ed Gein inspired skin lamp, or a delightfully vicious caricature of Mickey Mouse, there is something here for everybody. Whether that something delights or disgusts you is between you and your grey matter.  Beyond housing some of the finest dark art in existence, Shafer stocks plenty of items such as signed, high quality prints as well as a bevy of cups, pins, books, t-shirts and the like.  So if you’re on a budget, you can walk away with a memento of your experience.

One last thing about this place that stands out is the owner, Bill Shafer and his right hand Brian Bubonic. They are some of the nicest people I have ever met. Ever. They’re are totally accessible, and know many of the artists personally, giving them the insight to answer almost ANY question you may have.

They’re also chock full of fantastic stories about their own shenanigans. For example, Brian told us about his multiple trips to Death Valley to visit the Manson Family’s Barker Ranch, in all it’s eerie detail. Their appreciation and genuine respect for the artwork, its subjects and its creators give the Hyaena Gallery a welcoming atmosphere, making you feel right at home among the large bust of zombie Elvis and the picture of a pregnant autopsy  patient. 

Now I’ve only been to L.A. twice. I’ve seen the Hollywood sign, been all through the hills, and the Chinese Theater. But I’m pretty sure this is my favorite place in all L.A. It’s an amazing representation of the human mind, not only to create something virulent and grotesque, but to see how people react so lovingly to it (self included). It’s an amazing place for the deeply disturbed in the best way possible, a compliment I give in the highest regard.

You can see and purchase what the Hyaena Gallery has to offer at www.hyaenagallery.com. Their site is very easy to navigate, and you can contact Bill regarding any questions you may have.

Nov. 1 -  Nov. 30 2012

Clint Carney

“The Final Fire”

Opening Reception:

Saturday,  Nov. 3rd

8pm-midnight

However please take a look at our video and gallery of our time there for more. And of course, if you are in the L.A./Burbank area, you must, MUST stop in for a visit. It’s one of those things that’s even better in person, trust me.

 

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