The tried and true way to show your insurmountable fandom love of almost anything is by recreating it. And, more often than not, the medium of most enthusiasts of just about anything is fan art.
In its (almost) 26-year run, it’s safe to say The Simpsons has seen its fair share of artistic interpretations from the show’s devotees. This past weekend, Bart Simpson — one of the most iconic yellow skateboarders in existence — received perhaps his biggest medal of fandom yet: an unofficial art show.
The idea was conceived by French magazine Be Street’s founder Benjamin Benichou, who “has a deep interest in off-brand cultural detritus,” according to LA Weekly. However, spinoffs and rip-offs of Bart’s image have been in circulation since the early ’90s, when The Simpsons was at its height and memorabilia was constantly sold out. These unofficial T-shirts and prints of the little yellow dude were coined “Bootleg Barts,” and they became a sort of pop culture chameleon that would morph into symbols of race and politics, or just really crude drawings.
About 70 artists’ “Bootleg Barts” were displayed at HNYPT LA in an (unofficial) show of the same name. If you weren’t there, however, there is a (unofficial) “Bootleg Barts” website, which is equally awesome.
Here are the best of the bootlegs.