Clutter Magazine Booth Display (All Photos By Gail / Jamie)
I feel no shame admitting that I had stuffed animals on my bed into my thirties. Despite being a grown adult with a day job, I still love and collect toys, and I especially have a sick fetish for Designer Art Toys. This is why the annual Five Points Festival is my jam. Thanks to this awesome blog, I was able to score press passes once again to this year’s Five Points Fest, which took place the first weekend in June. Since Geoffrey is no longer on-the-scene, so to speak, I brought along my photographer and Partner in Squee, Jamie, and we spent about 5 or 6 hours trawling through hundreds of tiny toys and using the words “Cute” and “Adorable” about one hundred million billion times, each. Just being serious. While many designer toys are limited editions that can sell for hundreds of dollars, it is also possible find dozens of captivating art toys at Five Points Fest that can be yours for as little as $10 each. Please enjoy my photos of some of the toys that we found to be most squee-worthy, and you will see how easy it can be to build an affordable toy collection that adds joy to your life.
Do you like Buff Monster? I sure do. This Hot Pink version of his Mister Melty creation is a limited edition that was selling in the Clutter Magazine booth for about $275, I think. That sounds like a big chunk of change, but consider that this piece is also a highly-collectible work of art. Clutter is a generous sponsor of Five Points Fest so I want to give them a big Shout Out, right now!
These cute little guys are called Squash Buddies ($8 each) and, yes, they are scented! Top Trenz is the manufacturer and they were found in the PIQ booth.
PIQ is also where I discovered this shameless Pusheen rip-off series of Fat Cats called Meowchi, by Tasty Peach Studios of Japan. Don’t be fooled by imitations! Demand Pusheen!
Why did I take a picture of the box but not the toy? Clever Idiots, indeed. Sushi Cat sells for $7.99.
Hey look; more cats for you Cat Lovers! This slothful feline is part of the Lazily Sitting Cat Series by Vivi Cat. There are nine different poses to collect (9 Lives = 9 Cats) which sell for $12.50 each, and they are from Pop Mart toys.
If you happen to be a fan of character-based, pop culture collectibles — which includes dozens of items encompassing such must-haves as enamel pins, plushies, art toys, limited edition / designer vinyl toys and action figures, monsters, model kits, art prints, novelties and seemingly endless subcategories of amazing swag — then the Five Points Festival, which took place in Greenpoint, Brooklyn over the weekend of June 2nd and 3rd, 2018 is the only place you want to be. There’s a lot to distill in this recap, so we are going to get right to it. If you weren’t at Five Points Fest, here is just some of what you missed!
You can’t really talk about Five Points Fest without at least mentioning Kidrobot, acknowledged worldwide as the premier manufacturer and retailer of limited edition art toys, signature apparel and lifestyle accessories. Their booth was crammed full of goodies like these pocket collectibles.
Andy Warhol Dunny Series 2
Andy Warhol Brillo Box Object Series
Artists Kathie Olivas and Brandt Peters have designed a new mini figure series called Dark Harbor, which Kidrobot manufacturers and distibutes. We’ve been fans of Kathie’s work forever, so these super cute little guys are fun to see!
Eric Althin’s Sad Salesman designer toy and vinyl collection started as a labor of love and has grown into a family of endearing characters inspired in part by Eric’s young son and daughter.
The Dessert Oracle came home with me to join my collection!
Eric’s Pink Astral Wizard (created in a now sold-out limited edition just for this show) also won Sad Salesman an award for Breakthrough Artist! Congratulations!
Jim McKenzie is a formerly New York-based artist who has enjoyed great success with his unique hybrid character creations such as the Pumpkin Crab, Racoonicorn and the Pugglepillar, as well as his adorable Scarecrow who is, literally, scared of crows. Jim recently relocated to live the dream out in Burbank, California so we were happy to catch up with him at Five Points Fest!
Jim painstakingly hand sculpts all of his creations.
Limited Edition Pink Scarecrow
He also does amazing digital paintings. Jim McKenzie!
Frank Ape is another character that has evolved from the street to the merchandise market thanks to the innovative vision of his creator, Brandon Sines.
Here is Geoffrey hanging out with Frank Ape on the exhibit hall floor. Hilarious.
Do you like Rock Stars? I get yer Rock Stars right here. Meet Matthew Lineham, who makes all kinds of wildly collectible merchandise featuring his own charicatures of famous rock stars from back when pop music did not yet suck. His shit is the shit.
Check out these David Bowie Valentine Cards, which are just insane.
If I was a person who still bought T Shirts, I would have to own this Halloween-themed Robert Smith design for sure. Twenty Bucks? What a bargain! I hope that you are doing a Google on Matthew’s website (M Lineham Art) right now because I am not going to make it easy for you by adding any hyperlinks to this post. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Husband a wife team Kelly and J. Spencer Shill work with both original and appropriated characters for their Jellykoe line of prints and soft toys. Do you like Uglydolls? Check out these out Mini Monsters that Kelly sews from Spencer’s original designs. Ugly Cuddly!
Ron Swanson’s Meat Palace
Ron Swanson Fans: this one needs to go in your TV room right now. And this Pennywise poster; just brilliant.
Move over, Barbie and make way for Pidgin, the fabulous creation of New York sculptor and doll maker Joshua David McKenney. A reinvention of the fashion doll, Pidgin is a medium for the language of style! All dolls begin life from an identical sculpt, and are then hand painted and styled by Joshua, so that no two are alike. The dolls have ball joints, so they’re fully posable and can be interacted and played with, as well as being a unique work of art!
If you were at the fabulous Ramones and the Birth of Punk Exhibit out at the Queens Museum a couple of years ago, then you may have seen the art of Naoshi, who created a very memorable Kawaii-influenced picture of the band!
Ramones By Naoshi
Naoshi also works with sand (called Sunae in Japan) to create colorful tiny pictures, and makes enamel pins of her characters. Oh, the cuteness. You can find her shop on Etsy.
Posters By Tara McPherson
Five Points Festival proved to be an ideal place to pick up original paintings, drawings and other unique wall art that you’d otherwise have to scour dozens of galleries to find — if you could find them at all, because a lot of these guys are underground, baby!
Look at this cool and affordable Monster art by Justin Lieter! You can see the top of Justin’s head behind the number 5 on the Kewties sign!
Do you like Sharks? I sure do. This awesome grinning shark character is the signature creation of the street artist known as Sharpy. I think his work is just fantastic.
Chil Pepper By Mike Grossman
Chil Pepper (which, genius) is the creation of Mike Grossman and is part of his Goofy Froot series of anthropomorphic fruit characters. Yes, I just typed that.
Okay, how great is this unintentional homage to The Residents? An artist named Christian Hooker (real name? Likely not) took one of photographer Gene Korman’s most iconic images of Marilyn Monroeever, photoshopped out her face and replaced it with a giant, flame-encircled eyeball. It is so many kinds of brilliant.
Many of the artists in attendance participated in a Live Painting Event, where each artist created an original spray paint artwork on-the-fly!
Here are Chris RWK and Jim McKenzie in action!
Here are Chris and Jim again, a little bit farther along!
It was fun to watch the artists paint while enjoying tasty snacks from a selection of food trucks, like these mini donuts from Glazed and Confused!
All the paintings were auctioned off, with all proceeds going to benefit Planned Parenthood! Excellent!
We saw many very cool examples of toys and other merchandise made via the magic of 3D Printing, such as these adorable little planters from Meow 3D Printing! Check out the Pink Hedgehog!
You’ve seen his Batman Buddha on Worley Gig before, but were you aware that the artist known as 3D Mucky Chris has created an entire universe populated with Buddha-fied versions of many of your favorite sci-fi characters? It’s true!
The Tardigrade is an actual Living Thing That Exists, and now DoomCo Designs have created a Tardigrade character for all of you Tardi-fans. His name is Tarbus and he comes in variety of colors and two sizes!
Big Ten Inch Tarbus!
Tardi-great is more like it!
Here’s a bunch of other random stuff we liked enough to snap a photo (or two). Enjoy!
Is this the cutest thing in the universe or what? Presenting Mister Self Indulgence (Cherry Flavor edition) by Nouar (Martian Toys).
Mister Self Indulgence (a cherry pie with a chubby-cheeked grin who is poised to eat a slice of his own head) is a soft vinyl figure and he comes accompanied by his friend Lil’ Scoopy, who is a dish of ice cream. So cute, I can’t even live.
I am dead now, from the cuteness.
Artist Nick C. Kirk made this Pink Wookie character based on his photo of an actual Cosplayer whose likeness can be seen on the box.
GWAR Comics. I am speechless.
Pork Dumpling Pocket Toy
Topic: The Japanese have too much time on their hands. Discuss.
“Do Not Eat Me.”
Since art toy obsession is a legitimate lifestyle, you need some accessories to help you rock the look, amiright? KT Ferris Creations (#ThisShitBlinks) is a line of handcrafted Jewelry featuring hyperrealist doll eyes that open and close with the movement of the jewelry. Lovely and Disquieting!
We like these handbags by Marzipan Physics! Stylish!
Do you like Monsters? I got yer Monsters right here. This guy is called Mr. Death (2nd color Version) designed by Rockin’ Jelly Bean for their Freaky Monster Village series (sold by Black Book Toys).
Here’s a Pink Monster from Lonely Monster Toys By Elliot Lobell.
Zombie Alex from InstincToy is due for release in October 2018.
I don’t know this little guy’s name, but he looks like some kind of Monster Travelling Salesman, and he is just fantastic-looking! I found him at the booth for Mothership Toy Gallery.
Mummy Spice Version of King Creepy By Richard Strohmeyer.
One-of-a-Kind Figures by Emilio Subira (those that did not sell at Five Points Fest are available online from Mothership Toy Gallery).
I am pretty sure this Pirate Dude is called Captain Sturnbrau and he is by JPK, which are the initials of toy designer Jon-Paul Kaiser. Aaargh!
Before I forget, I must give a shout out to Five Points Festival’s primary sponsor, Clutter, which is the world’s premier magazine and media source for Designer Toys, and the originator of the Designer Toy Awards, as well as having a gallery dedicated to art toys, and doing custom manufacturing on-demand!
Thanks to Clutter for all that they do to support the community! See you next year for another rad Five Points Festival!
The Man Who Sold the World by Alessandro Gallo (All Photos By Gail)
You only have a few more days to check out Strani Incontri, an exhibition of new works by Italian artist Alessando Gallo over at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery. This is Gallo’s first exhibit at LeVine, but his work will probably look very familiarly if you know the art of Mike Leavitt, who also shows at LeVine.
The Beginning of a Great Adventure (Foreground, Right)
Gallo merges elements of the real world to create a surreal one teeming with the possibility of strani incontri, or strange encounters. His hybrid sculptures embody human behavioral patterns and physical attributes from the neck down while unseemly animal heads mock the human disposition and comically question our relationship with the natural world.
She Belongs to Me
Gallo’s artistic process is deeply rooted in realism and he begins by photographing a model from all angles. He then uses those photographs, as well as images from his sizeable archive of animal wildlife books, as references while sculpting.
The mutant species Gallo creates are then placed in typical human circumstances, such as riding the subway or checking their tablet on a park bench, and are so accurately crafted that their presence is unsettling yet familiar.
Come Fly With Me
Themes of loneliness, isolation and boredom are abundant in Gallo’s work due to the inclusion of an animal presence in the mundane minutia of urban life. Every culture has associations between animals and emotions, which are evident in adages such as ‘happy as a clam’ or ‘stubborn as a mule’, and Gallo views his sculptures as psychological portraits relating to these emotional states.
Regardless of their distortion, Gallo’s characters exemplifying human nature by humorously embodying our values and vices.
Alessandro Gallo’s Strani Incontri will be on Exhibit until October 4th at Jonathan LeVine Gallery, Located at 529 W 20th Street, 9th Floor, in the Chelsea Gallery District.
Judging from the date stamp on the above photo (origin unknown), this image comes from to us from several years in the future! In this photo, we see two “Action Figures,” as they are known, created in the likenesses of Ace Frehley of Kiss and Punky Meadows of Angel, two guitarists from rival ’70s rock bands, dressed in their distinctive costumes of that era, shaking hands in a gesture of solidarity and friendship. Let the homo-eroticism begin!
NYC’s Boo-Hooray Gallery announces the first retrospective gallery exhibition by subversive toy-making geniuses, SUCKADELIC. Intentionally confusing, misleading, disappointing and really funny, SUCKADELIC’s limited edition parodies of action figures reverberate with a vicious wit and are oddly eyeball-pleasing in the manner of all kinds of toothsome 20th/21st century collage and montage art. The toys and their aggressively situationist piss-take packaging comment on pop culture commodification and the consumer habits of compulsively shopping kidults: The very process that made KAWS, Takashi Murakami and Michael Lau art-stars on the Art Basel Miami/Armory Show/Venice Biennale tip. This exhibition marks the first time the entire SUCKADELIC catalogue will be exhibited in one place. For the duration of the exhibit, a SUCKADELIC SUCK-SHOPPE pop-up store will be open. Original artwork, sculptures, silk- screens and paintings will also be for sale. The opening night party takes place on Tuesday, January 11 at 6 PM where attendees will have the opportunity to meet the characters from the SUCKADELIC Universe. You know I’ll be there!
Boo-Hooray Gallery is Located at 521 W 23rd Street, New York, NY 10011, and the Exhibit is Open Every Day from 11 AM – 6 PM from January 12 – 23, 2011
Here’s a fun thing you can do this holiday season – by yourself or with your kids – to get in the Christmas spirit and make the house look much more festive. Bonnie Burton made the wreath pictured above out of Star Wars character action figures that she painted green and then attached to a foil wreath that you can buy at any crafts store. Any action figures or small plastic toys can be used and this is a great opportunity to maybe clean out your kid’s toys chest and give those little guys a second life. You could probably even make a trip to the 99 cent store and order clear perspex sheets and other supplies for cheap that way. Bonnie provides step by step instructions for how to make the wreath at This Link.