Unreal Estate - Art Depicting Famous TV Show Locations

ArtTVby Joey Paur

Artist Tim Doyle has created a wonderful series of pop culture art depicting locations from several classic Television shows. These were done for an art show Doyle is putting on San Francisco called Unreal Estate. Thanks to our friends at /Film, we can show you a few of these pieces. Other pieces come from posterocalypse and Inside the Rock Poster Frame.

Some of the TV locations featured in the collection include The Simpsons, The Sopranos, Seinfeld, Sesame Street, King of the Hill, Arrested Development, and more. The show opens up on Thursday, February 2nd at the Spoke Art Gallery, and will be on display through February 23rd. The art will go on sale online February 3rd.

Check out the art below with thoughts from the artist about each one.


Kwik E Mart piece called Night over the SNPP, a 16 x 20 print in a signed and numbered edition of 100.

The first three prints I created for the show were all inspired by The Simpsons- I knew I had to kick them out of my head up front and move on, as The Simpsons could very easily dominate the entire exhibit if I let it. I purposefully set these three images at night or sunset to force the color scheme away from the pastel and neon palette of the show.

I remember my Dallas-suburb Middle School placing a ban on Simpsons t-shirts in the late 80′s, as the show was considered a bad influence, and Bart an animated public-enemy #1. Now, the show is an American monument- a purple and green and yellow Mt. Rushmore in time and celluloid. The Simpsons is probably one of our most enduring exports- it’d be hard to go to a country on the globe where the characters aren’t recognized. Even in 1992 my young mind knew how out of touch the then-campaigning George Bush Sr. was when he said that Americans “…needed to be closer to the Waltons than the Simpsons.” He lost that election to the more media savvy Bill Clinton- pop culture affecting Presidential politics. Mr. Plow predating Joe the Plumber.

Arrested Development pieces - 10 Cents Gets You Nuts,  and 18 x 24 print and Banana Flambe, the 12 x 24 variant, both signed and numbered editions of 100.

Next up, I went a little bit more contemporary with the Bluth Banana stand. This show wormed it’s way into me post-cancellation, I’m embarrassed to say. But I’d guess that’s the case with the vast majority of AD’s fans today. As I was working on this print, the news broke that Arrested Development was in fact coming BACK to television, albeit through the subscription service Netflix, and later into theaters in a long-rumored film. This is fantastic news- and what I believe is a first for network TV- the internet spoke as a collective and WILLED this show back into production. This isn’t the case of some stiff in a suit saying “You know what was popular? 90210. Let’s do that again, even though no-one ever asked for it.” The only reason Dallas is back on the air is because people recognize it as a BRAND, not as a show anyone was dying for more of. But this is something…else. We weren’t done with the Bluths, and we demanded a family reunion. And we’re getting it. Now, who wants to start a Kickstarter to get Firefly back? The internet has spoken.

Normally for a variant, you go for a simple color swap with your screens, or add an effect layer, like glow in the dark, or print on a different surface like wood or metal. But with this one, I completely redrew the Banana stand and produced a whole new set of separations to get the “fire” version produced. Twice the work, but totally worth the effort for a subject I love. I could have gone with the model home, but I thought the stand proved itself more iconic for the insanity of this series.

Sesame Street posters - Sweeping the Clouds and Nest of Doors, each are 18 x 24 prints in a signed and numbered edition of 100.

Growing up in the suburbs, my first exposure to what a ‘real’ city was like was Sesame Street. And when I say ‘real’ city, I mean apartment buildings, corner bodegas, and a positive multiculturalism that wasn’t reflected in my suburban surroundings. When I finally did visit NYC for the first time in early 2001, I was half expecting to see a two-headed spelling monster pop his head around a corner or encounter a frog reporter. I remember calling my brother and excitedly telling him I saw kids playing in the spray from a fire hydrant JUST LIKE ON TV! I did see some people living in garbage heaps, but that wasn’t nearly as fun as it should be. To this day, the original theme song of Sesame Street gets me misty-eyed. This particular street corner is a cultural icon in an of itself. It’s where everyone I grew up with learned to read, to count, and more importantly to share and be kind. This plywood set populated by people, foam or otherwise is IMPORTANT. It presented a racially diverse cast in a way that had never been seen in children’s programming at the time. When it debuted, a Mississippi state commission voted to ban the program because of it. Sesame Street, like All in the Family was an agent for social change. It’s easy to forget in the intervening years, but while Archie Bunker might have been an avatar for the white, lower to middle class audience it targeted, having him bump into a 1970′s modern woman like Bea Arthur’s Maude or Sammy Davis Jr.’s black/ jewish reality was slowly educating the audience that ‘hey, these people- they’re just people too.’ And the fact that the Grouchketeers had kids from all backgrounds was a very specific and groundbreaking choice. Progressiveness through Puppetry.

The fun thing for me in doing these prints is all the research that it involves. I ‘had to’ watch a lot of Sesame Street, followed by a viewing of Follow That Bird (seriously a fun, great movie). I wanted to depict the street and ‘Arbor’ (as the area in the middle is known) as I remembered it from the late 70′s through the mid-80′s. Thumbing through countless photos and video clips brought back memories I didn’t know were still there. Now if I could just get my two year old to watch anything but Yo Gabba Gabba, I’d gladly forge new memories of this fictional and eternal corner that he’ll carry through to his children.


"King of the Hill is an odd duck of a show. Set in a mythical suburban Texas town, a mix of a very real Richardson and Garland (both towns adjacent to Plano, where I grew up), it rings with an authenticity any Texas-raised child would recognize. The thing that's odd to me is that the show was aired anywhere else in the nation, much less the world. No matter how extreme the characters are on screen, I know someone who could have been the archetype they were based on. I WISH I could say I never met a gun-nut conspiracy theorist like Dale Gribble, but I knew that guy, mirrored sunglasses and all. I'll never forget my friend's parents pulling out the night vision goggles one evening to see what the cops were doing up the block, a loaded handgun on the coffee table. The provincial and Protestant Peggy Hill was no parody, but an accurate representation of just about every teacher I had growing up in Texas. If there's a character in television history that is most representative of my life- it's Bobby Hill. A short, fat, awkward outsider, obsessed with fruit pies in a football dominated culture. (I still literally could not tell you the rules of the game to this day.) Now, my parents were East-coast transplants and my family life wasn't anything like Bobby's, but I've been to that house and seen that family repeated dozens of times, I tell you what. I remember driving past the local propane dealer time and time again, never really understanding what the hell those places were for. We were charcoal briquette people. (Hank would be ashamed.)I purposefully went for a dusty, gritty look for this print- trying to echo the sometimes frightening weather of central Texas. I spent more than a few hours under a mattress in my parent's hallway, waiting for the tornado to come and kill us all, only to get the all clear signal from the local siren. (Seriously- I can't believe I live in a world where that is real- one day you're just watching Mr. Peppermint on TV, and the next- wind is coming to kill you.)"



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