Mural at MUJAM in Mexico City

Late last year I was invited to do character design for a stop motion co-production Japanese/Mexican annimation film, Lucharobomatic. In conjunction with a promotional teaser I painted the two main characters at the MUJAM museum, Trueno Tigre and Furioso Rosa. The idea of the film is that robots are anonimous, only a dozen or so different series and thousands of copies of each model. They are forced start wearing masks to differentiate, so they can wrestle mexican style. The bad guys are the producers of programmed disfunction the ones who force the robots to fight until death. They battle until total destruction of their oponent. They start to develope an identity under the masks and form a resistance to enslavement and programed obsolescence. Matches are held in an old abandoned mambo club, outside an enormous metal face with giant hands holding morracas. From Tokyo to Mexico city robot masked wrestlers are preparing for the throw down. And I am the Roseheaded pink cotton candy haired artist, asked to pose for photos with Mexican children. The story plot is pretty conventional but there are some interesting Twists and Double twists.

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Stuttagart Winter Trip

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As I’ve been traveling so much this year, I haven’t had the chance to write a little about all my trips. In Febuary I was in Stuttgart for 10 days. It was when I changed my hair to pink! And I did some cool tattoos too.

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Brussels Toy Museum Part 3

This is the third post about the Brussels Toy Museum check out the others here and here.

I love these pink kitchen sets. Clearly an example of stereotyping in toys made for girls, the forming of sexual identity and the roles cut out for them by society!

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I love these over sized dominoes left out on a table in one of the rooms. I makes me chuckle to think of adults using them with nostalgia; that they seemed so much bigger in small hands.

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Jeu de Bagatelle the ancestor of the pinball machine. Placed propped up at an angle on a table and played with standard size glass marbles. Score keeping I imagine was written on paper.

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Little sewing machine.

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In this case you’ll see a crazy vinyl toy with a caterpillar and his three passengers: a monkey a bear and a clown. Below the sketch I did. Also, I love that (Bakelite?) merry go round and would love to see it in action!

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Me with the director!

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I decided to write a

Poem about the museum

On the side of the kiosk
Headlines call out “A Toy Museum in Belgium
Found to be a Secret Portal to a Forgotten Corner of Reality”
With a byline: Local Children Have Been the Guardians of this Hidden Gem for Several Generations.
It was my first possession this small object; a miniature version of a future imagined, Plaything of my dream
When I was green…
Well loved, with nicks, dents, or rust, worn out paint on corners, crooked or, broken and                                                                                                                                                                  Then repaired, missing one eye, cracks; but absolutely sublime in the imperfections…
I read recently that “reality is imaginary”                                                                                                                                                          Let’s break away from conformity and choose our own reality
To imagine the world in small scale,
Child size,
Doll measurements, is to understand what it is to have more space:
Discover a cure for claustrophobia.
Switch proportions,
Shrinking, projecting oneself down to a pocketable proportion
A desire a want to disappear,
To escape into a fantasy of my own creation
Agrandir just the good stuff.
Avoid the responsibilty of greatness,
The gift of vulnerability
Shirk challenge, reject reality, internalize.
My body is a toy museum.
I must shrink down to explore the inner room.
I see a shape, a murky form, it opens a door to an idea or a memory.
Discover the unknown, understand, find hidden forgotten items.
An interior voyage to deep healing,
Deep discovery.
The required action in exchange for a ticket to the next horizon.
A tickling sensation, something gently flutters inside,
Exciting such juvenile delight.
Flying by like screeching monkeys
A group of knee high individuals soar up the stairs,
Circle around a table, stop, look at that! No! Let’s go here
Down, through and back again.
Bubbling over with joy, exploding with the pleasure of celebrating this day, this place this dream.
What shall we play at now? I know: Let’s make a tea party- invisible liquids, pretend goodies, hosting for imagined guests.
Teddy bear in a tiny wicker chair, a birthday cake, a special occassion, such a lovely image, so mouth watering, some sugar, more presents…
Remembering rainy day indoor games, finding contentment in being trapped in a meloncoly grey room.
Retell all the details, hours passed by one game morphing into another until the floor was covered with the entire treasure chest.
When we were lowercase playtime was capital.

 

Brussels Toy Museum Part 2

This is the second post about the Brussels Toy Museum, read the other post here.

For young budding engineers and mechanics, here’s some gorgeous gears, chains and cogs:

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Here’s a photo of your’s truely after I shrunk myself down to fit in the mini tollbooth.

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Check out these display cases that ressemble houses on a block.

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Motorcycle for a miniature Marlon Brando.

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The enchanted repair shop. I was lucky to take a peek because I think this door is usually closed.

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Paper theaters! What children did before there was television!!!

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I covet all of these lovely watches!

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I love the glamor of these two blond 1930’s cowgirls and their bee-stung lips. Followed by the sketch I did of them.

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A fabulous collection of toy castles, many of which look hand made.

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New York 2015

The tattoos I did while guesting at Daredevil Tattoo, Chinatown, New York City.
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Mexico Part 10 (Museums)

It’s taken me forever to get around to posting these photos. I think our trip to Mexico was 3 years ago, maybe 2 1/2! Here are some of the great museums you will find in Mexico city. We saw an amazing exhibit of Covarrubias at the Illustration Gallery in Centro Historico.
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Museum of Anthropology.

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Calendar art!

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Covarrubias:

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Restaurant owner by a masked mexican wrestler.

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Mexico Part 9

Here are some photos from the Katrina parade in San Miguel de Allende.

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And some photos from an art gallery opening of Anado, a friend of my mom’s who lives in a country village not far from San Miguel. Gay hippy Santas, mosaic and donkeys!

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Brussels Toy Museum

Toy museums in general are like magical places to me and are cherished in my heart, but a museum like this one in particular gives me so much joy and inspiration (painting and drawing/tattoo) and I wonder; why does it effect me so deeply? Is it nostalgia for my lost youth and innocence or have I really not matured much at all to be attracted by such infantile pleasures? Not to mention why all this obsession of mine with the past and what that might represent? I must admit that faced with the reality of the world today I rather just pass by or ignore so, when I enter a place like this I know that the reality I’m searching for does exsist. Maybe an artist creates their own reality. I seek something that matches my vision. After I find it I want to put that vision down in my own words/colors. Now, let me paint you a picture of the Toy Museum in Brussels, Belgium.
A.S.B.L. Musée du Jouet
Rue de l’Association, 24
1000 – Bruxelles
The museum is installed in a hôtel particulier, a grand 4 story mansion that would have housed a large bourgeois family. The house itself is an enormous toy box, a treasure chest filled with plastic balls, metal trains, wooden horses, tin robots, paper dolls, and cardboard houses. The museum is also a portal to another demension. Enter, turn the corner, step back in time and be dazzled by the dome in the atrium. Step up to another level and marvel at a train set in its own contained environment. Climb the stairs of reverie. Discover if you are lucky the open door of the workshop, where a thousand repairs are going on. Find the favorite toy from your childhood or of one from a past life’s. A collection gathered over a lifetime and assembled with love by a big kid. I was lucky enough to meet that big kid, the founder, André Raemdonck. Later, reading the catalog I could hear his voice and imagine his enthusiasm. He fought to create this enchanted spot where children are allowed to run, yell, play and explore. The museum can even be rented for birthday parties. One began as I arrived on the day of my first visit. “Don’t dirty your party clothes!”- I see a father, mother and little girl. I can’t understand their language but the father is scolding l.g. for getting her tights dirty. Funny how they expect her to be thinking of her clothes while she is having fun in this place dressed in her best!
The Brussels Toy Museum feels kind of haunted. Perhaps by the hopes and dreams of all the little children that loved these toys? Little sister loved that doll now she is all grown up and can’t remember. Little brothers who were growing up during wars, who played with soldiers and lilliputian castles, in their innocense didn’t grasp the reality of the symbols of their games or maybe had the beginings of understanding; an oblivious initiation, a foundation of sorts. Here are grouped the mechanical objects for manufacture of industrial reveries, it’s an imagination/dream factory. Construction games for example, where one gathers the parts, finds the place that fits, building something to see how it works. Seeds planted for a future architect?
What is a toy for an adult? A key to return to the past with the feelings, memories, sweet nostalgia. There are perhaps new lessons to learn from my younger self. What would I do different? What was lost that we are trying to tap back into? Why do adults collect toys? Because we can! Adults value toys for many of the same reasons children do, because they bring an enormous amount of joy. Handmade wooden toys vs. Plastic, shiny or tintoys, a point of difference; let’s compare. What is their value? Time invested vs. Industrial technique. Handmade toys are sincere in their charming simplicity, sturdy and natural. The child may see more value in the seduction of streamlined “better” “new” mass produced toys that are more detailed with smaller moving parts, precise and realistic. But the inverse could be true for both and for other reasons. An adult may appreciate more, later. How can one possibly decide in any case? I want them all! Why do we have impulses to hoard and not be happy with what we have? I want that toy they want mine. Maybe the lessons are dangerous, we learn to want “things”.
What is a toy for a child? A dream to be BIG, to imagine, to practice, to learn for the future, skills to function in the world. A toy is an useful tool, a catalyst towards working on one moment of joy, a story, a game. The child engages in the Zen practice of living in the moment (at the same time projecting on tomorrow but with no concept of the future); innocent preparations. Start with the basics: Imitation of mommy in the kitchen organising her pantry, shopping, and cooking. Mimic the doctor, examing the teddy bear, taking his temperature. Our primary interests are perhaps the debut of talents that will embark us on a future career. Games and toys are gateways to introducing young ones to all the metiers. We too can take cues from children when preparing to take on a new path/challenge. How? Remember to dream, imagine, practice, learn, prepare and emulate. With toys the child’s fantasy is propelled into action, an accessory for the fantasy to make it more real, acting out, trying it on, searching. There are parallels to be found with my art – exploring who I am, creating something that is me. To capture intangible feelings, explore unknown emotions and why I was so inexpliquably moved. Expressing what I cannot put into words.My work is very much about play and maybe that’s my deep connection to places like these. The reality I’m searching for is magical, utopian, positive and marvelous. I hope that comes across in the results of my labor.

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Masked bandit or carnival clown in Harlequin hat and play-suit, ABSTRAKT “hot dog” on wheels, Teddy bear school where the fine arts of cuddling, comforting and amusing are taught along with child psychology. And the sketches they inspired…

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Spooky dolls quietly disturbing.

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Nun doll with tiny altar, tapestries, a pillow with an embroidered immaculate heart, candle stick, bell, and challis. The museum catalog mentions a requisite parental supervision while playing with these objects to prevent sacrilege! Toys as a means to introduction.

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The dome. This museum is housed in a large ancient residence. This room was probably used to entertain.

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Homemade hand painted wooden toys.

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Pantry or well stocked grocery store.

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Impressive variety of rocking horses.

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