sabato 30 novembre 2013

Stumble on MORI CHACK

For this post I decided to keep the fil rouge of the "through-vinyl-toys-discoveries" and those of you who adore such toys and type of art, like I do, will be pleased to read about Mori Chack. 
At least, that's my hope.. well I can't imagine someone who doesn't like him!!

Who's Mori Chack? Well, the below image definitely helps!

Gloomy Bear

Mori Chack and the Giant Gloomy Bear

I found no personal paintings but character designs, in fact Mori is originally a graphic designer and that's his nature. He only now entered the vinyl toys world as street artist.
The gloomy bear is his most famous character, followed by Podolly and Kumakikai. All of them are designed with the same style and in intense opposition to what we're nowadays used to: cheap cuteness.

Podolly, wicked sheep almost eaten by the wolf above

Kumukikai, the robotic flying Gloomy Bear

Nowadays we're overwhelmed by companies like Disney, Sanrio's Hello Kitty and others, which keep on emphasizing anthropomorphous animals (terrible!!). An animal is wild by nature and it will never feel the same that humans do. I can't prove it but I know it is so.
I really agree with Mori's belief that humans and animals are incompatible, they stand on a different levels, that's the reality and we have to accept it. Mori's Gloomy Bear shows it expressly as it's covered by blood and eats/attacks humans.
I love the way Mori ventured to design such a character. It's the contrast that we need to, at least, realize what the situation really is.

What I love in his characters is that he was able to smartly bond cuteness and wickedness. The Gloomy Bear, for instance, it's soft, smooth, harmonious, pink and then suddenly you see this bright red blood drops dripping from his mouth and suddenly you realize that it isn't what you imagined at first, because it's weird, wrong, tough.
The simplicity of the image creates such a perfect character, able to make the world's contradictions emerge and leave room to reflection.

At the end, the naughty Gloomy Bear seems to act the part of every single cute bear, which has been (mis)treated from humans and finally our naughty hero is wreaking revenge on them by actins finally according to his wild nature.

I found a video of the naughty gloomy bear and his human friend "hanging out" together, which is beyond limits and controls, as it has to be: totally insane!

domenica 17 novembre 2013


Since in the last post the artist was particular and at points bizarre for some tastes, I decided to compensate by writing about a softer, smoother and vintage alike artist.
Here she is: Amanda Visell.

Her art is so naive and so funny that it makes me feel good every time I see it.
As happened with Yoskay Yamamoto, I discovered Amanda Visell in the same way: through her vinyl toys (like the zebracorn, the pink elephant, the fat cat, etc. ).

The Zebracorn and Amanda Visell

She's been very productive so far and seems that whatever she has in mind she can realize it, both 2D and 3D, and of course I profited by collecting all her vinyl toys (needless to say how proud I am of it).
It seems to me that through her characters I can lighten in 3D the atmosphere of her art.
I love to see at home all my (tiny and giant) Amanda's toys moving around and making a mess in my room, because, of course, they do not really stay still... huh-huh :)
At the very moment that you turn the corner you don't know what to expect from them!

the other day jackalope threw a party under the couch &
the devil businessman was already on the floor.

As you have noticed my username seems to have something in common with the vinyl toy above and I confirm you that your assumption is totally right!
I loved it at first sight and I imagined myself as a tiny zebracorn. Is it a zebra with a corn bizarre? Of course it isn't! 
Well, in any case, I love it because the corn adds a magic halo to the zebra character and moreover it reminds me to my childhood's characters I used to imagine.
What's more intriguing are the corn' special powers that the tiny zebra has (of course without beeing even aware of it) and the same is true for me: I know I have this special ability too, but I'm still figuring out how to activate it, so far works only accidentally.

Here you have some of her quirky paintings.

 Bayou Hoo

Robot Tea Party


I enjoy her bizarre characters and the stories she tells through them. It's amazing how powerful and harmonious they are and by looking at them you can imagine what will happen next. It seems to me that the image comes into life and if you close your eyes and reopen them quickly, something in the painting has changed: as if in that very moment one of the characters is having fun by winking at you.
You have no idea what a crazy story of the stray cats above I could tell you... huh-huh.

One of my favorite is this crazy alligator. I laugh by imagining that he devours the icecream pile and pretends the second after an instantaneous refill, like he never had one.

Ice Cream Crazy Alligator

If you wanna smile and see the quirkiest stories don't hesitate and have a loot at all her art. You are going to enjoy it, like I do continuously.
I heartily recommend you to check here her website and her blog.

venerdì 8 novembre 2013

Stumble on MARK RYDEN

Who would have said that he used to design album covers for musicians including Michael Jackson?
He indeed states "I have never been so deliberate or conscious of a particular career path. I just go where life takes me and try to enjoy the adventures" (From "The Upset", Young Contemporary Art)

..and I love to think that his great art has spontaneously come out.

As I stumbled on his art I got immediately captured by this bizarre feeling and couldn't understand how can images be so pure and so rough at the same time (for instance when thinking about "The Meat Show" -characterized by steaks placed weirdly throughout his art).

 The Ecstacy of Cecelia, The Meat Show

 Incarnation, The Gay 90's Show

So as a first approach, I spontaneously tried to distinguish the pure from the rough, but then I realized it was an impossible attempt: his art is so strong and intense especially because of this inner force that Ryden has been able to establish in the image.
Then, when one accepts it, this sense of contrasting feeling appears harmonious in a way. Bizarre, who would have thought it?
His unique style of using fables, childhood immagination, iconic figures as inspiration and the way he turns them into ambiguity with an aesthetically appealling and creepy image, is brilliant!

 The Meat Train

The Butcher Bunny

In my opinion he wants to show  and reminds us about the complementarity of contradictory elements, such as of happiness and sorrow for instance. The two feelings go arm in arm together: one can't be happy without any kind of influence of sorrow, as well as the opposite.
What reinforces even more such a contrast is the perfection of his characters, which stimulates one's lust for aestetics and the obvious sadness in the character's eyes.
I see it a lot in the pieces of "The Snow Yak Show":



Sophias Bubbles

Girl in a fur skirt

What else happens to be present in his art is also the creepy and gloomy scenarios.
At a first glance one enjoys the perfection of the images, but then gets captured (like in a spider's trap) and starts realizing the hollow and macabre waves in the image.
The art process is then complete, the artist succeded in spreading any kind of emotion to the public. It doesn't matter if the creepy or the aesthetics triumphed, it just matters that a connection between the two has been settled.


Cloven Bunny

Little boy blue

My favorite Ryden's piece of art is the one from "The Tree Show", The Apology.
Here I like the magic trunk component reflected in the eyes of the young girl dressed in yellow, proposing herself as a vanishing hope for becoming one and overcoming the troubles between them.
I like the magic connection between the two characters, but at the same time I can't stand the melancholic feeling of the impossiblity for them of becoming one. So close but still so distant. Is an apology still possible?

The Apology

domenica 2 gennaio 2011

Stumble on TIM BISKUP

First of all, happy new year folks ;-) !

Tim Biskup is the artist I've chosen as a good start to the year for my lowbrow blog!

The way I discovered him is through an article published on the "Hi-Fructose Collected Edition" Book. I really recommend this book, since it is very well done, the printings quality is very high and there is a wide range of the artists work pictures! It's very enjoyable! (here you can find more info about it!)
Then, I have to admit, I also have one of his little characters: the BIRDUZASU! I love it, especially the scalopped detailing. Here it is:

I really love his art because it simply makes me smile and I enjoy it very much. Though may it seem very simple, it is definitely more than that: in its simplicity his art spreads intense energy. The characters are simple too, but also in this case, Tim is able to add them particular characteristics (e.g. tiny smooth freckles) which add to his characters a very cute and fancy look!

What I like are also his peculiar paintings, composed simply by fancy patterns. It is amazing, bacause one understands that art is very easy and simple, the only necessary ingredient is creativity, and Tim has stock up on it!

I'd like to quote Tim, where he says "I actually end up with very few paintings that I give up on. A big part of that confidence is knowing that if a painting seems like it's not working that it is probably just a new direction that I don't understand yet. I've learned to keep working on things when they start looking terrible. That's where the biggest leaps come from. Working small takes a lot of the risk out of trying new ideas".

Tim has classified his approach, the thick with detail paintings, as "Baroque Modernism". But what's more important, is that what emerges from his art are: shapes, colors and monsters.. zombies.. whales.. things! :-P
Simply, what emerges from Tim's artwork is the mere combination of scary, cute, fancy and "stupid" elements, with a great choice of colors and shapes.

Here there are some of his ridiculously popular artworks, or if you prefer, go directly on Tim's website. Enjoy!

Incense Burner

The Pink Drink

Mutation On The Bounty


Bird Filled Sky

Detail of Golden Plague

giovedì 28 ottobre 2010


The artist of the day is Audrey Kawasaki.

Few years ago I stumbled accidentally on her personal website and I immediately felt in love with her art!

What attracted me was the simultaneous presence of innocence and eroticism in her "creatures". It is amazing how these two characterstics go arm in arm in her art. I think this is why one get seduced at first glance when facing her paintings.

One sees two completely different approaches in one piece and get attracted by these creatures shrouded in mystery.
It is also possible to choose the side you like and it gives one freedom.
Delighted, satisfied and free.

What makes her art even more intriguing are also the asian elements that she chooses. This brings the paintings to a higher level and Audrey's creatures become mysterious beings, reachable only in dreams.
Often they possess a talisman, which seems to be the answer one looks for or the problem that overwhelms the situation.

In the Juxtapoz number 90, Audrey explains "All my paintings portray this one female, I'm somewhat possessed or haunted by her." This reoccurring archetypal feminine "other" has developed within Audrey's psyche for the past decade. "Ever since my high school years I was always drawn to a type of mood or imaginery. The girl reappears in all my pieces, fading in and out," she explains. "She's there, and then she's gone."

This elusive, hauntingly unattainable female often reflects how Audrey seems to feel about herself.
Haunted by her girls and their elusive dispositions, Audrey appears to have resigned herself to a life-long struggle to know them. She isn't afraid to directly confront her girls, look them in their sultry eyes, and ask that questions we've all asked ourselves: "Who the hell are you?"

A virtual battleground between the innocent and the erotic, Audrey's paintings embody that tender space where youth meets its nemesis. "She's a character or being that's very mysterious. I have to bring her back again and again; I have to keep painting her to find her."

For more information about Audrey, check her website!

...and which is my favorite?
I have many, but if I have to choose I would pick this one:

venerdì 19 febbraio 2010


The very first time I stumbled on Yoskay Yamamoto was in New York. It was the summer 2009, my first time in the U.S, in New York. I spent one week in N.Y with my boyfriend and definitely it is one of my favorite city, it's absolutly awesome (my dream is to be back there soon)!
One day we were walking around the East Village and we saw the small sign "Toy Tokyo" (121 2nd Ave), and as it was closed, the next day at the opening time we were there impatient to get in.
Who knew this seemingly shady 2nd floor shop held so many awesome things!
One of those awesone things was a vinyl toy who attracted my attention: the KOIBITO.

Then, when I came back in Switzerland (my hometown) i googled it and I discovered who was behind this amazing vinyl toy. It's Yoskay Yamamoto.

What was attracting in the Koibito, was the magic it spread only at looking at it.
A simple interesting character with a magic element, a a mixture of reality and fantasy. A combination of modern and ancient culture, which is very attractive to me, it makes somehing very unique and I enjoy that! When reality and magic come together and you cannot see the separation line between them, well I have to admit, this attracts me a lot. It makes me feel more closer to my fantasies, the magic inside me seems to come out. This makes me feel happy and gives me inspiration.
The Koibito strengthen the mythical style, and this helps me to emphasize with it, and makes me feel more mythical than human. A dream.

At this point I would like to tell you something more about Yoskay Yamamoto.
Born and raised in Toba, Japan, Yoskay Yamamoto moved to the United States at the age of 15. A self-trained illustrator, Yamamoto's artistic tastes expanded as he fell in love with the urban culture of the West coast. Yamamoto discovered a way to fuse the two different cultural backgrounds together into his work. Yamamoto nostalgically blends pop iconic characters from his new Western home with traditional and mythical Japanese elements, balancing his Asian heritage with urban pop art. Nowaday Yoskay Yamamoto is a rising Japanese artist in the LA art scene.

Well, now you can understand better why this guy is so amazing and why I like his art! I have to admit that I am a fan of mythical Japanese elements, and those mixed with western elements, totally different, bring to life something new, something really magic.

Here you have a painting of the Koibito, as it is based on an original painting.

In the painting he literally embodies the fish out of the water sentiment. I read that Yoskay has lived in so many places, and as much as he does get along wherever he lives, it sometimes give him a certain "fish out of the water" feeling.
So, I venture a guess that in a way the Koibito could represent him and his feelings.
But he says: “I used to have a pet fish named Tuna and he passed away because of my poor treatment and laziness. So after he died I painted some fish, and the Koibito character came about. People somehow really related to it, or they just found it so amusing or interesting that it became one of the characters that people really know about in my work.”
Anyway I still think that the Koibito is a mixture of the two explanations.
Antoher thing has to be said concerning the Koibito. Even though Yoskay likes the Koibito character, he doesn't want to emphasize it more, as he doesn't want to be stuck as the artists who only does Koibito.
A concern that many artists face in their life, a conern which I've named "the octopus syndrome". However it was thanks to the koibito that I stumbled on this energic artist :-)!

Looking at the rest of his art, it seems there are hurricanes of emotions involved. If you look at his homepage you'll see the rest of his work, with the complex backgrounds, many different patterns, textures, the waves (try to blick once and the waves will look completely different)... All these details are amazing.
It seems that an hurricane of emotions comes out thanks to the motion present in his artwork.
Here you have some Yoskay works I like, but to get a complete idea of all his art you definetly have to visit his website, and you'll discover a lot more about the paintings, sculptures, vinyl, and so on.