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Meltyface and Checkmate Bluff channel the 90’s

OLD NORTH—A Saturday night art show turned UrbArts into a shrine to the 90’s.
The show featured artists known as Meltyface and Checkmate Bluff, putting their 90s-themed art on display.
The 90s, they said, was a bonding topic for them, so when they decided they wanted to do a show together, the theme made sense. True to the “nostalgia” theme, each work of art featured an icon from the 90s, including characters from cartoons, movies and video games.
“That decade is a major part of our adolescence and growing up,” said Tory Bradley, aka Checkmate Bluff. “We had a lot of conversations about it [the 90s]…and it seemed like the perfect theme to draw from.”
As far as style goes, the two artists differed in their chosen interpretations. Tyler Price, aka Meltyface, who usually favors painting as a medium, decided to work more digitally for this show, taking classic 90s cartoon characters and applying his usual “Meltyface” style to them.
“I’ve been trying to push myself beyond the boundaries of just painting,” said Price. “I told myself for this show instead of doing my go-to paintings, I’m gonna do everything digital.”

Bradley’s contributions, on the otherhand, were much more simple: pen and ink illustrations drawn on graphite paper. For him, this was an additional callback to his childhood memories of drawing.

“I usually tend to do more digital stuff,” said Bradley. “I sort of gave myself these basic tools. Even drawing, when I first started that as a kid, it was just graphite and stuff…looking at movie covers and cartoons and trying to redraw those. So it’s kind of like going back to where it first started.”

“90’stalgia” was a one-night event. To see future events at UrbArts, visit

Samantha Auch

Sam Auch graduated from Knox College, where she studied Theater and Gender Studies. Outside her work with The Northsider, she works as an actor, playwright, and artist. You can found out more about her at her website

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