John Metcalfe

The exhibit next heads to Los Angeles, and then all over the world (well, maybe).

Nicolas Cage is many things, from undisputed master of ham to latter-day Elvis to castle collector to cockroach muncher. And now he has one more bit of trivia for his IMDB page: inspiration for the first art show devoted to the all-important phenomenon of Nicolas Cage.

"Nicolas Cage Is God" opened for one night this Saturday in San Francisco's Mission District, and it just dominated the block. Long lines that formed early were patrolled by suit-wearing bouncers enforcing occupancy regulations. Inside, people were wearing creepy, eyeless Cage masks and the gaudy garb of the actor's sad-sack hero from Raising Arizona. A burlesque dancer twirled her goods on stage wearing Cage-faced pasties.

I've been to art openings for Damien Hirst that didn't evince this level of excitement. It's as if all of Cage's devotees were melting down into a critical mass of fandom. Should a middle-aged white dude with a passing resemblance to the actor happen to have strolled down the block, they probably would've ravaged him until there was nothing left but hunks of hair. It makes you feel for Bay Area gallery managers who sometimes struggle to attract audiences for more traditional openings – all this artistic hubbub over a guy who's Internet-famous for yelling, "NOT THE BEES!"

The show was created by uber-fan Ezra Croft, who sourced Cage-themed art from all over the planet, according to a HuffPo interview a while back:

"About 3 months ago, I began to ponder the enigmatic intensity of Nicolas Cage, wondering, 'This guy has been in almost 70 movies, he's an icon, but not classically so. Why hasn't there been an art show dedicated to him?' And then, like the clouds parting, I knew this show had to happen."...

"I posted Craigslist ads all over the world, including the Ukraine, Nigeria, Japan and many major United States cities. Nic Cage fans and haters have been coming out of the woodwork in droves. I have almost 80 artists from four continents participating, and many from the Bay Area. Facebook has also had a hand in this show's almost viral notoriety. People I'm not even connected with are beating down my door to participate. It's kind of scary and awesome at the same time."

It's also perhaps the beginning of something bigger. The show departs for a Los Angeles appearance in July – who knows what city the Cage-art mothership will descend on after that? 

(The previous butt was plastered with tiny images of Nicolas Cage.)

Photos by John Metcalfe

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Coronavirus

    The Post-Pandemic Urban Future Is Already Here

    The coronavirus crisis stands to dramatically reshape cities around the world. But the biggest revolutions in urban space may have begun before the pandemic.

  2. Perspective

    In a Pandemic, We're All 'Transit Dependent'

    Now more than ever, public transportation is not just about ridership. Buses, trains, and subways make urban civilization possible.

  3. A pedestrian wearing a protective face mask walks past a boarded up building in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. Governors from coast to coast Friday told Americans not to leave home except for dire circumstances and ordered nonessential business to shut their doors.
    Equity

    The Geography of Coronavirus

    What do we know so far about the types of places that are more susceptible to the spread of Covid-19? In the U.S., density is just the beginning of the story.

  4. Traffic-free Times Square in New York City
    Maps

    Mapping How Cities Are Reclaiming Street Space

    To help get essential workers around, cities are revising traffic patterns, suspending public transit fares, and making more room for bikes and pedestrians.

  5. photo: San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency employees turn an empty cable car in San Francisco on March 4.
    Transportation

    As Coronavirus Quiets Streets, Some Cities Speed Road and Transit Fixes

    With cities in lockdown and workplaces closed, the big drop in traffic and transit riders allows road repair and construction projects to rush forward.

×