What happens after we die? The ferryman Charon carried newly deceased souls across the rivers between the world of the living and the land of the dead, or at least that’s the answer according to the ancient Greeks. As more and more similar tales erupt, they are woven into cohesive mythology over time, formed from a series of story-like replies to unanswerable questions. For instance, how does one cross the dark forest? Escorted by the shepherd of the night, Luna, whose firefly-lit lanterns fend off the night, or at least that’s the response according to wife-and-husband artist duo Jenn and Tony Bot, this concept being at the heart of their fictional Lunaverse.

A Brief History of the Luna and her Universe

Luna sprang forth from The Bots’ sketchbooks to make her public debut at the duo’s first solo exhibition, Monstrosity, which opened on June 13th of 2015 at Dream in Plastic. Her appearance still in flux, like how the creatures of myth evolve to suit the stories attributed to them, the following year’s offering of Luna‘s sculptural rendition was a refinement of the previous depiction. Having laid the groundwork with this shepherd of the night’s vinyl edition issuing, The Bots entrusted storyteller Jessica Ervin-Eickhoff and artists 64 Colors to help them explore Luna‘s magical world in book form. Offered in January of 2018, Luna and the Magical Night Lights began building a rich mythos around the character. Which, once issued, truly allowed the Lunaverse to take form.

With three cameo appearances in the book, this burgeoning world grew to include a retroactive re-imagining of The Bots’ first wholly original sculpt as Luna‘s fantastical sidekick: the six-legged sheep Bubbles. While this “grumpy guy” character transitioned into a vinyl rendition himself in September of 2018, two months later saw the debut of the fleet-footed “messengers of the forest” within the Lunaverse, the Dusk Bunnies, who visually appear related to the Bunny Loaf companions that accompanied some Kickstarter-exclusive Luna bundles. As the Lunaverse steadily coalesced, it — like any mythology — required additional voices, other artists to interpret these creatures and expand the world in unexpected ways. A feat first accomplished at Rotofugi Gallery‘s Luna Custom Group Show in May of 2017, two recent exhibitions at the Clutter Gallery revisited and built upon this direction.

The Bubbles and Darkest Hours Group Exhibitions

Situated across from The Bots’ Ambedo solo exhibition (learn more here), the two-dimensional Darkest Hours works and unique Bubbles sculptural renditions are intermingled to form one cohesively Lunaverse-inspired whole. While personalized reinterpretations of the world’s titular character dominate the paintings and illustrations within Darkest Hours, several strive to depict additions to Luna‘s mystical realm and backstory, such as how Jeremiah Ketner lends his reoccurring Sleepy Owl character to his piece or how Britton “Mr. Walters” Walters‘ contribution envisions the shepherdess as conducting an auroral event. With the Bubbles-based half of the display being equally diverse, the works range from those colorfully decorated in the artists’ signature style to radical reimaginings that incorporate the sheep-like shape into a completely new creature to the truly unexpected, such as Lee “Leecifer” Gajda‘s rendition. Contextualizing his piece as a wooden pull-toy, one can easily envision this as an ancient craftsman’s creation meant to indoctrinate children into the Lunaverse‘s mythology. Just like how, ultimately, that’s what these exhibitions accomplish for adults: they entice us into The Bots’ blossoming realm, intriguing us to delve deeper.

The Bots’ Luna-inspired Bubbles & Darkest Hour group exhibitions at the Clutter Magazine Gallery had their opening receptions on Saturday, April 13th from 6-9pm, with all works in these exhibitions having remained on display until May 5th, 2019 at the gallery’s physical location (163 Main Street, Beacon, NY 12508).

View the gallery’s dedicated page for the Bubbles exhibition

View the gallery’s dedicated page for the Darkest Hour exhibition

For more information on The Bots:
facebook | instagram | flickr

Sket-One's Jinro Dunny from HiteJinro & Kidrobot
Though Roy Lichtenstein began transforming comic panels from their lowbrow origins to dot-decorated canvases the year before, it is probably Andy Warhol's first solo exhibition of paintings in 1962 that is best known for elevating the mundane to the gallery-worthy. Displayed at Los Angeles' Ferus Gallery from July 9th to…
PHASE2's Abomination Deity Guardians from Unbox Industries
Though Philadelphians like Darryl "CORNBREAD" McCray and Earl "COOL EARL" Hubbard were aerosol writing practitioners in the early '60s, it wasn't until this street art trend spread to New York City that it gained style. From the interconnected lettering of Thomas "LEE 163d!" Lee to Michael "TRACY 168" Tracy's wildstyle,…
Sket-One's Jinro Dunny
PHASE 2's Abomination Deity Guardians