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The Plasma Dunnys

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Dustin Cantrell‘s handmade Plasma Dunnys (as seen here on JS last February) sent a ripple through the art toy community–and beyond. First appearing on custoMONDAYs (a series of 20 emerging toy artists curated by yours truly), Dustin’s Dunny quickly attracted attention from Gizmodo to Kanye. Everybody wanted one, but only 4 existed, and they sold out fast. Enter Kidrobot, makers of the Dunny toy. They tapped Dustin to create 3 more Plasma Dunnys in metallic gold with wood bases. The Dunnys are currently on display in Kidrobot’s New York store and for sale at $600 each in the custom art section of Kidrobot’s website. This puts Dustin in the same category previously occupied by Tara McPherson’s sculptures. Congratulations to Dustin, and let this be an inspirational story for those who tweak their toys worldwide!

Update: They sold out in less than 24 hours. At $600 each. By an unknown/emerging artist. What recession?

LOST Underground Art Project

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Fans of LOST who also happen to be underground art aficionados now have something to spend their time and money (and conspiracy theorizing) on til the TV show returns in 2010. What began as seemingly a prank on the part of comedian Paul Scheer has turned into a full-fledged ARG, where the “A” could just as well stand for “art” as much as “alternative.” Paul’s Damon, Carlton and a Polar Bear painting (see website of same name) was the beginning of a viral campaign containing LOST clues and resulting in a (staged) cease and desist letter from ABC. Now, with the help of Gallery1988, 16 artists are getting in on the action. Initially revealed on Sunday at a Dharma Initiative event with DJ AM and Steve Aoki, but available for purchase beginning today, is Tim Doyle’s take on The Numbers. Each of the 16 prints will be hand-pulled, hand-signed and numbered limited edition screenprints. Tim’s has glow-in-the-dark elements. Check it out before there’s a time shift and they’re all gone at actuallyitsketchup.com.

Pinkghost x Chubby Book Series


pinkghost just announced the latest (and least exploitative) expression of fandom for all things round and chubby since Dance Your Ass Off. In collaboration with artists Julie West, Helena Garcia and 64Colors, pinkghost will debut the Chubby Books Series. The series combines a sketchbook, journal and postcard book into one “fat, cute, rounded corner book.” The books are indeed chubby: weighing in at a solid hard-backed 250 pages. Each volume features 10 artist-designed postcards, 100 lined pages and 150 sketch pages. Series 1 will be available in store and online beginning September 5th. Awesome.

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New York + Google Maps = Font


You can already check out Google Maps by Josh Spear, but what about Josh Spear by Google Maps? For this, we’ve got British researcher Rachel Young to thank. Inspired by the Google Maps Typography of Rhett Dashwood, she created this “font” of New York. And she did this while recovering from an injury, having never been to New York. Check out the Alphabet State gallery over at the New York Post website to create your own typographic crop circles. [via Media Bistro

iPhone Brushes for Artists

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Last month, the iPhone Brushes app made headlines with The New Yorker cover, which Jorge Colombo finger-painted in less than an hour. New Brushes paintings are added to the Brushes Flickr group daily. So far, one of my top finds has been the work of Jhonen Vasquez whose 90s-era Johnny The Homicidal Maniac comic is a personal favorite. Writes the artist about his latest painting: “As is usually the case, this wee thing was started while waiting to feed on something or other, the way lions draw intricate images while waiting for a gazelle to run by.” The app even has a time-lapse video feature, so you can see the artists in action. Check out Vasquez’ brushwork here. Awesome.

Pilemon T-Shirt

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Of all the wacky cross-culture mash-ups that come out of Japan, this one gets serious chutzpah points: Phenomenon paired seminal post-punk band, Public Image Limited, with animated feline time-traveler, Doraemon on two new T-shirts. The graphic mixes PiL’s logo with a more subtle reference to the cat’s colors, whiskers and collar. Of course if it takes you a minute to make the connection, Phenomenon sends it home by titling the shirt Pilemon. I think it’s both brilliant and bizarre to pay combined homage to an important band that released its greatest hits (so far) album in 1990 and an anime icon who fell into the shadow of Sanrio, but it does beg three questions: 1) Precisely how many people listen to post-punk and watch anime? 2) Why now? And 3) How quickly is John Lydon going to call his lawyer about this? Looks like white is already sold out. Black is available here.

Deinos Debuts

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Born in Norway, educated in London and now back in Oslo, Bard Hole Standal aka Bard Vandal is a designer, illustrator and unofficial educator. The tutorials on his blog, and photos on his Flickr have inspired would-be toy artists to get casting. Bard’s latest creation is Deinos, a dragon-dinosaur character who represents good luck and happiness. After about a year of work on Deinos (sculpted in Maya on a Mac, printed on a Eden 260V PolyJet 3d-printer and molded and hand-painted in a kitchen), Bard will debut the creature at Ouchi Gallery in Brooklyn. In association with The ShadowPlastic Label, the first five figures will be available for sale (along with a series of prints). Each numbered resin art toy costs $125 and is a unique piece. The show opens July 14th and runs through July 19th. Special version after the jump!

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Zakka Brooklyn

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Nestled beneath the Manhattan Bridge overpass in the DUMBO area of Brooklyn is a haven for fans of Japanese art and subculture. It’s called Zakka, and it’s home to an awesome array of art books and more. We’re talking tomes on toys, street art, graphic design, package design and much more stretching across an entire wall of the shop. As for the toys, this is the spot for Kubricks"“ this is no Kidrobot. Rare figures by Michael Lau and wacky characters from Japanese gameshows fill glass display cases. They’ve even got Mugen’s Pop Pop, which replicates the sensation of popping bubble wrap. Recently Zakka collaborated with New York-based bilingual art magazine, COOL, on a series of in-store events surrounding the decorated eco-bag (“decob”). You could bring your old clothes, and they’ll transform them into decobs. I could spend a whole afternoon here, easily. Thanks to Steve Talkowski for the tour!

Deadgood Doodle Chair

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Dan Ziglam and Elliot Brook are the directors of UK-based design firm, Deadgood, where everything they make is “deadgood”. The young company has already made Elle Decoration's "˜Brit Talent Hot List' and Design Week's '50 People Making a Difference in Design' for their innovative Form chairs, wire table lamps, bookshelves and hangers. We, of course, love great furniture design, but Deadgood really made our radar when they announced an upcoming collaboration with Jon Burgerman. The doodle chair is screen-printed with a resin-impregnated craft core, overlaid with melamine and pressed at high temperature. It recently made a successful debut in New York and is expected to launch in September. Completely awesome.

Re-Ment Sushi Bar

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Re-Ment‘s Puchi Petite Collections are tiny, incredibly detailed, and often food-focused toys from Japan. The global cuisine includes assortments ranging from Luxury French to American Kitchen. One of my personal favorites, The Re-Ment Sushi Bar, features campy titles like “Wasabi Makes my Eyes Watery” and “I Want to Eat Sweet Grilled Egg!” Each box is sold blind-style and contains mouth-watering miniatures like avocado rolls and fatty tuna, as well as the necessities like chopsticks, hand towels and tea. You can find Puchi Petites in many toy stores and of course, on eBay. And as you might imagine, there are several Re-Ment Flickr groups. From a 1cm. perfectly-formed donut to a 1-inch plate of oysters on ice, Re-Ment puts the kitch in kitchen. Yum.

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