Gary Baseman is the three-time Emmy award winning creator and executive producer of the critically acclaimed animated series and feature film Teacher's Pet. One of the leaders of the L.A. underground art movement, Baseman blurs the line between toy culture and fine art with his strong iconic images, which are playful and dark, childlike and adult, id-driven and thought provoking. He coined the term "pervasive art" to describe and categorize his surreal work. Baseman's artwork has exhibited around the globe in Rome, Los Angeles, New York, Taipei, Barcelona, Sao Paulo, and Berlin. His work can also be seen in The New Yorker, Time, The New York Times, Rolling Stone, and on the best selling game "Cranium". Entertainment Weekly Magazine named Baseman as one of the 100 Most Creative People in Entertainment.
Tim Biskup is a Southern California fine artist whose work has been shown worldwide, including galleries and museums in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Tokyo, Kyoto, Barcelona, Berlin, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires and Melbourne. Long recognized for his complex color and design theories and a decidedly populist aesthetic, Biskup has amassed a cadre of loyal fans and collectors. Recent years have seen the artist tend towards more complex, personal and conceptual work while maintaining a commitment to visual experimentation. With a consistent output of original artwork, prints, sculptures, books and other editions Tim Biskup has produced a body of work that extends into the far reaches of the art and design worlds.
Sket One, painter, illustrator, and designer, has come a long way since his early days as a New Haven based graffiti artist in the 1990s. There are, however, a few constants. He still makes his home in New Haven Connecticut, and he still deftly incorporates all the elements that went into his becoming an effective graffiti artist a sharp visual wit, an urban sensibility, and a finger on the pulse of a larger pop culture. Armed with such attributes, Sket One has built a successful career as a visual artist whose work is both acclaimed and in high demand. Sket Oneâ€™s artistic and business ambitions came together for the first time when, in 1992, he created and ran Unitee, a Clothing Design company.
A UK native, Huck Gee is a contemporary artist, illustrator, toy maker, and designer best known by toy enthusiasts for his iconic "Skullhead" character and "Gold Life" art creations. Heavily influenced by Japanese and Hong Kong pop art, Gee calls his style "Bastardized Asian Pop Culture". The demand for Huck's Custom Toy Art and illustrations has grown quite immense, with small runs of hand crafted Art Toys and original prints selling out in seconds online and shipping to art collectors worldwide. Huck's works have been exhibited in galleries worldwide and in 2007 his "Hello My Name Is" 8" Dunny was accepted into the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in NYC. In addition, Huck has also consigned several pieces for one of the world's leading fine art auction houses: Christie's Auction House.
Tara McPherson is an artist based out of New York City. Creating art about people and their odd ways, her characters seem to exude an idealized innocence with a glimpse of hard earned wisdom in their eyes. Recalling many issues from childhood and good old life experience, she creates images that are thought provoking and seductive. People and their relationships are a central theme throughout her work. Tara was born in San Francisco in 1976 and raised in Los Angeles. She received her BFA from Art Center in Pasadena, CA in August 2001 with honors in Illustration and a minor in Fine Art. She interned at Rough Draft Studios, working on Matt Groening's "Futurama" during college.
Nemo is a toy customizer and sculptor based out of Flushing, NY. His works include the Sharky and Haremongous.
Keith Poon is a Flushing, NY based artist and responsible for creating the Sharky, Hammerhead, Kaniza, and more. He currently owns and operates Toyqube, a vinyl toy shop in Flushing, NY.
Evil was born in 1991, when one of MCA's favorite entertainers, Pee Wee Herman (Mr. Paul Reubens), was arrested in an adult movie theater. Agitated by the absurd way in which Reubens was demonized by the media, MCA manipulated his mug shot, added devil horns to his head, and sarcastically wrote the word "Evil" beneath it. He printed up T-shirts and stickers with this image and began distributing them in and around Boston: Since then, Evil Design has spread throughout the world.
SUCKADELIC is a Chinatown based, fly by night company that has made a name for itself thru creative toy bootlegging and illicit remix records. The label and its evil master, The SUPER SUCKLORD first clocked fame for 1998â€™s unlicensed STAR WARS BREAKBEATS album, a mix of hip hop breaks and Star Wars snippets that has so farflown safely under the copyright cop's radar. SUCKADELIC takes nerdy obsessions to the heights of hipster cool with a series of evil and unsafe toys such as the GAY EMPIRE Homotrooper and the vile SUCKLORD SUPERVILLAIN series; bootleg toys manufactured in the Sucklord's legendary and lethal Chinatown sweatshop A steady output of shady releases has culminated in the fantasy epic web film, TOY LORDS of CHINATOWN. SUCKADELIC promises to delight and offend hip geeks worldwide untilthe whole crap game comes crashing down. Get into it!
As a youth in the 1980s, LeVine recognized the appeal of countercultural aesthetics including punk flyers, comics, graffiti and tattoos. Beginning in 1994, LeVine became an independent curator, organizing exhibitions at punk and alternative rock venues in the NY/NJ area such as: CBGB, Webster Hall, Max Fish, and Maxwell's. By promoting these visual art forms through group shows in venues that were home to their musical counterparts, LeVine gave a home to this nascent art movement, early on. In February 2001, LeVine opened his own gallery Tin Man Alley in New Hope, Pennsylvania. The gallery relocated to Philadelphia in late 2002. In January 2005, LeVine renamed and moved his gallery to the epicenter of the contemporary art world, Manhattan's Chelsea district. Jonathan LeVine is pleased to continue cultivating new and long-standing relationships with featured artists and active collectors through his program at the gallery, participating in art fairs, and presenting special exhibitions in International locations.
Attaboy is an internationally shown artist, creator and toy designer whose work is seen in galleries, museums, toy boutiques, magazines, calendars, and art books. skateboards, designer watches and more. Atta created, relaunched, and invented award-winning and best selling toys for numerous toy companies including Hasbro and Milton Bradley, where he earned a half a dozen patents. In 2001 Atta went create his own art and licensing studio. His art work has been licensed to Dark Horse, Last Gasp, Tower Records, Kid Robot, Toy2R, KISS, the Dixie Chicks, Sony, and many more. In 2002 he launched his designer toy series, including the popular Axtrx figure and the most recent talking Gooberry Plush. In 2005, his now fiancÃ© Annie Owens, both artists, co-founded Hi-Fructose Magazine, a critically new contemporary art publication which has grown to a world wide circulation with 16 volumes. The bestselling Hi-Fructose Collected book is now in it's third printing. Itâ€™s sequel arrives in September. Too Many Robots, an animation created and directed by Atta premiered in 2007 on the Disney Channel and he has a children's book being launched in the fall, the title of which keeps changing, much like his mind.
Brian McCarty is a Memphis-born toy photographer and director/producer. Working with toys for over 15 years, McCarty's unique and innovative vision has attracted a huge international following. His postmodern integration of concept and character has earned McCarty's photography a prominent position in the growing Urban Vinyl / Art-Toy movement, popularized by fellow artists such as Takashi Murakami and Brian "KAWS" Donnelly. McCarty is featured in several books chronicling the artistic movement such as Vinyl Will Kill, Dot Dot Dash, and Toys: New Designs from the Art-Toy Revolution. McCarty earned his BFA from Parsons School of Design in New York City and then studied at the creative research centre Fabrica in Treviso, Italy. After returning to the states and working in-house for companies such as Mattel, McCarty founded his own studio and made it a focal point for artistic and commercial collaboration with others from the Art-Toy world.
El Maz is no stranger to the toy world. He has created amazing custom Circus Punks, Munnys, and a Calli, just to name a few. His artistic style creates an unsettling dichotomy: on the surface everything looks ok, but then you realize something is about to go terribly wrong. While growing up in the 80's, Maz was fed a steady diet of cartoons, video games, graffiti, advertisements, and Joe Camel. He is currently obsessed with altering and destroying as many vintage toys as possible and building a limited edition skateboard company with his best friend Fred.
From Bwana Spoons: I am a painter, and half jack of many other trades. I heart trees, moss, and monsters. I make toys, and design shoes, bust the occasional illustration, or work on an installation. I make art.
As a Kid, VanBeater dreamed of being a deadly ninja assassin rapper. Sadly, he discovered his shoes were too squeaky to be a ninja and he aint never going to have good enough grammar to be a bangin' lyricist (you know what i'm sayin'?). Once he came to terms with the facts, he decided to travel from the past to rock the future. Although he lacks any real ability to "quote rock unquote," He CAN travel through time. This give him hundreds of years of experience instantly. Mix that experience with a self-induced pareidolia; a childhood full of influences such as Saturday morning cartoons, NES, and all the toys he couldn't afford to blow up with M-80s but did anyways; and the general love for the never ending, out of control, run-on sentence, and you have VanBeater.
FERG (Clay Ferguson) is an artist based out of Austin, Texas. He is co-founder of Jamungo, a designer toy company with international acclaim. His work can be seen in toy stores and boutiques all over the world. He is known for his minimalist aesthetic and clean design approach. "Sometimes I to try to break an idea down, and present it with the least amount of visual data...but still keep it interesting."
Born in Los Angeles in 1978, Tristan began pursuing street art as a teenager, painting everything from billboards to dumpsters in the urban landscape wherever he lived, including London, Detroit and New York. Eaton designed his first toy for Fisher Price at 18 years old and has since become a driving force in the world of 'Designer Toys '. As a creative leader in the world of advertising, Eaton regularly consults such brands as Hasbro, Pepsi and Nike on many creative projects that span the globe and cross all mediums . Tristan's work can be seen at the Cooper Hewitt Museum and in the permanent collection of the New York Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). Tristan is currently the President and Creative Director of THUNDERDOG STUDIOS, INC., a prominent New York based Designer Toy Brand and Creative Agency and happily resides in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
Bio Coming Soon...
Paola Antonelli is curator in the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art. Since 1994, Paola has curated the following landmark exhibitions: â€œDesign and the Elastic Mind," "Achille Castiglioni: Design!;" "Humble Masterpieces;" "Mutant Materials in Contemporary Design; "SAFE: Design Takes on Risk;" "Thresholds: Contemporary Design from the Netherlands;" "Projects 66: Campana/Ingo Maurer:" and "Workspheres." For these accomplishments she received the 2006 Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum Design Mind Award. She was also appointed senior fellow at the Royal College of Art, London and given an honorary doctorate by Kingston University. Prior to joining the staff at MoMA, Paola was the editor of Abitare and a contributing editor to Domus. Among the books she has written are: Humble Masterpieces: Everyday Marvels of Design and Objects of Design from the Museum of Modern Art. She also writes for publications such as Harperâ€™s Bazaar, Harvard Design, I.D., Seed, Metropolis, Nest, and Paper.
Born in Philadelphia, but raised in Fresno, Luke Chueh (pronounced CHU) studied graphic design at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obipso where he earned a BS in Art & Design (Graphic Design concentration). He was employed by the Ernie Ball Company, working in-house as designer/illustrator where he created several award winning designs and was featured in the design annuals of Communication Arts and Print Magazine. Meanwhile, he also created, produced, wrote, designed, edited and published "E.X.P.", a 'zine dedicated to the "Intelligent Dance Music (IDM)" genre. In 2003, Chueh moved to Los Angeles to further pursue a career in design. However, a lack of employment opportunities left him resorting to painting as a way to keep busy (a hobby he picked up while attending Cal Poly). He got his start when the Los Angeles underground art show, Cannibal Flower, invited him to show at their monthly events. Since then Chueh has quickly worked his way up the ranks of the LA art scene, establishing himself as an artist not to be ignored. Employing minimal color schemes, simple animal characters, and a seemingly endless list of ill-fated situations, Chueh stylistically balances cute with brute, walking the fine line between comedy and tragedy. Chueh's work has been featured in galleries around the world, and some of his paitnings have also been reinterpreted into vinyl toys.
Bill McMullen is a New York City based artist and designer who has work with such clients as: The Beastie Boys, Def Jam Records, Adidas, Burton, and more. His Toy work includes the AD-AT, The Shuttlemax, The Dunnynaut, and more.
Frank Kozik was born near Madrid, Spain in 1962 and immigrated to United States, settling in Austin, Texas in the 70's. Credited with single-handedly reviving the "lost" art of the concert poster, Kozik's art career emerged from his connection to Austin's cultural explosion in the mid 80's. Starting with band flyers that he posted on telephone poles, Kozik quickly garnered a solid fan-base who dug his graphically compelling and culturally relevant work. To date, Kozik has designed over 1000 concert posters and album covers for artists as diverse as The Sex Pistols and Nirvana; founded Man's Ruin Records; directed music videos for Soundgarden; staged over 60 gallery shows worldwide; created artwork for some of world's biggest companies; and published several volumes of his work. Since 2000, Kozik's main artistic focus has been in the design and production of vinyl art toys.
Robert Silva (a.k.a. Muttpop Bob) is President and co-owner (along with Jerry Frissen) of Muttpop Inc, a conglomerate of artists that has been writing, designing, developing and producing high quality Art Toys and Intellectual Properties since 2005. The members of Muttpop banded together to develop the Mexican wrestling inspired Lucha Libre comic book universe. Bob encouraged them to expand their Lucha Libre world into the Designer Toy scene with the release of the Tequila figure. The success of Tequila was followed up with subsequent figure releases including El Panda, Red Demon, Dr. Destruction, Mini Gobi, and the forthcoming King Katch. In addition to the Lucha Libre line, Muttpop has conceptualized and released the Molly from Oban Star Racer and the Tcho! Mini Figures. Muttpop has collaborated with Designer Toy artists Kozik, Ferg and VanBeater on the Lucha Libre figure line and Jamungo Blow Up Doll series.
Paul Budnitz is the president and founder of Kidrobot, the world's premiere creator of art toys, fashion apparel and accessories. "When I first started this company is was really hard to explain to people what I was doing. People would ask, 'are they art or are they toys?', and I'd say, 'Both, and selling them is part of the artwork too.' That question has always driven me a little crazy. Now the toys are in museums AND they're for sale in stores." Budnitz called upon the talents of friend Tristan Eaton, the illustrator he'd worked with on his previous animated films. Together they created Dunny and Munny, two of Kidrobot's best selling characters. With a philosophy of collaboration, Budnitz brought in dozens of other fine artists, graffiti artists, and illustrators to work on toy projects with him. Kidrobot produces roughly 60 new toy projects each year and its toys are sold in thousands of stores worldwide. In December 2007, 10 Dunny toys and 3 Munny toys created by Budnitz & Eaton, with paints by various artists, were accepted into the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Kidrobot's innovative toys were also the centerpiece of the 2006 Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Museum Design Triennial. In late 2006 he authored the book I AM PLASTIC: The Designer Toy Explosion, published by Harry Abrams Press. Its sequel, I AM PLASTIC, TOO, will be released in late 2010. Two new children's books authored by Budnitz will be published by Hyperion/Disney in 2010 & 2011.
Influenced by classic animation, graphic design, and daily life, Joe Ledbetter's art is... well... a lot of things. Light-hearted in its approach, he often combines cute and cuddly creatures with unfortunate - albeit humorous - situations. With a lean on the subversive and absurd, these scenarios are all too familiar, questioning our tendency of taking life (and ourselves) too seriously. While working as a graphic apparel artist for three years, Ledbetter got involved in the Los Angeles underground art scene, beginning with group shows like Cannibal Flower. By the summer of 2004, he had honed his trademark visual style of emblematic line-work, vibrant colors, and endearing characters to the point of quitting his day job. With international appeal, he has had numerous solo exhibitions in Los Angeles, Tokyo, London, Paris, Rome, Toronto, Taipei, Istanbul, and Amsterdam. Additionally, his work has been sold at Christie's auction house and has been displayed in various museum exhibitions such as The Andy Warhol Museum (Pittsburgh), Bristol City Museum (England), Madre Museum (Naples, Italy), and the Riverside Art Museum (California). His incredible cast of creatures have since been emblazoned on over 100 designer vinyl toys, as well as apparel and lifestyle brands, the world over.
Bio Coming Soon...
Raymond is the founder and President of Toy2R, a Hong Kong based company that produces designer vinyl toys.
Jermaine Rogers is most widely known as one of the leaders in the field of modern rock poster art. This involves the creating and production of promotional poster artwork featuring concerts, musical events, and musical releases by certain rock and roll artists. Jermaine Rogers has created these pieces of advertising since the year 1994. By 1996, due to growing workloads and collectible popularity in this field, Rogers abandoned his secular job to pursue the creation of poster art on a full-time basis. For the last few years, Jermaine has chosen to concentrate more on fine art, design, and other personal pursuits.
Dave Bondi has over fifteen years experience working as an artist and animator for such notable entertainment companies as Mattel, Activision, Electronic Arts and the television comedy "South Park". Over the past few years, he has been involved with the Designer/Art toy movement as a sculptor, in addition to pursuing his own art career. His work uses urethane resins and foams to create vibrant, twisting, three-dimensional landscapes of color. Whimsical and eye-catching, it often deals with much deeper issues of representation, identity and process. Dave Bondi lives and works in Venice, CA with his wife and daughter.
One of the most prolific and recognizable artists alive today, Ron English has bombed the global landscape with unforgettable images, on the street, in museums, in movies, books and television. English coined the term POPaganda to describe his signature mash-up of high and low cultural touchstones, from superhero mythology to totems of art history, populated with his vast and constantly growing arsenal of original characters, including MC Supersized, the obese fast-food mascot featured in the hit movie "Supersize Me," and Abraham Obama, the fusion of America's 16th and 44th Presidents, an image widely discussed in the media as directly impacting the 2008 election. Other characters carousing through English's art, in paintings, billboards, and sculpture include three-eyed rabbits, udderly delicious cowgirls and grinning skulls, blending stunning visuals with the bitingly humorous undertones of America's Premier Pop Iconoclast.
Lev owns and operates Toy Tokyo, a landmark toystore in the New York's East Village. He also recently opened the Toy Tokyo Underground Gallery, a gallery space beneath the store.
Bio Coming Soon...
Bio Coming Soon...
Mark Taylor created He-Man (Masters of the Universe) for Mattel Toys as well as other designs including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Men in Black, Starship Troopers, Micro Machines, Attack Pack, King Kong, and Collectable Hot Wheels for Playmates, Galoob, Tomy, Lanard, and Mattel. His early career experience includes eight years as a Combat Illustrator for the U.S. Naval Undersea Warfare Center.
As an artist for the past 30 years, my experience has been in many various forms of graphic design, from screen printing in high school to commercial advertising with ad agencies all over the world. My passion however, lies with technical fashion and apparel graphics. I have extensive experience and knowledge of the Action Sports Industry and the SPEED markets-in both design and development. High-end motocross riding gear, full helmet and glove design to creating designs for wet & dry suits for the watersports market. All of which focus on graphics with a harmonious blend of function, anatomic design, innovation and technology. In addition to the Action Sports and Speed markets, I also create designer toys and action figures as well as design band and tour merchandise. Trade event and special projects. I am a painter, a builder and an illustrator at heart.