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!
We can’t attest to the fact that Brooklyn-based illustrator Dust La Rock (a.k.a Joshua Prince) is either a gentleman or a scholar, though we certainly don’t doubt it, the least we could do is vouch for his being an absolutely awesome graphic designer. As designer-in-residence at Studio B and art director at Fool’s Gold Records and Syintific Skateboards, this extremely talented being lends his incredibly deft and imaginative eye to quite a few visual arenas. The best place to take a gander at just what beauty is in the eye of this beholder is by checking out his site. There you can revel the splendor of the oodles of web, identity, and print work that have complemented brands such as Missbehave Magazine, SeedNY and various NYC area DJ/Promoters. Dust La Rock is about to blow up, so best take cover. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
We posted about Mishka’s website relaunch in 2007, and now we’re happy to see that the streetwear brand is opening its first store in the heart of Brooklyn, “where it all began.” Mishka‘s flagship store is located at 350 Broadway and set to open its doors this Friday, March 13th at 12 p.m. In celebration they have prepared a host of exclusive releases, including New Era caps, T-shirts and “kaiju craziness,” which, for the uninitiated, translates to cool Japanese monster toys. Music and monsters have always been a running theme in Mishka’s aesthetic. There will be an in-store reception beginning at 7 p.m. featuring the debut of Nick Catchdubs & Mr. Ducker's "Radio Friendly Unit Shifter 2." The party then moves to Trophy Bar at 10 p.m. where you'll get down with Nick Gazin & His Creepy Touch until about midnight. Finally, Trouble & Bass rings in the new day from 12 a.m. to 4 a.m. at Studio B.
Prolific U.K. doodler Jon Burgerman flies across the pond this week to collaborate with Brooklyn-by-way-of-Berlin pop artist Jim Avignon at Brooklyn’s Factory Fresh. “Anxiety Room” continues a theme familiar to Burgerman fans (as seen in sculptures like WorryKnott and the London installation, Anxiety Wall). On opening night, Thursday, February 12th, Jon and Jim will engage in a live painting called Anxiety Broom. The show runs through March 15th.
Pugzee used to work for the mob bosses back in the day. While in prison (or an animal shelter; whatever), he learned how his old stomping grounds of Red Hook started changing, so he broke out and took matters into his own hands. Pugzee is the latest creation of toy sculptor and designer, Dave Cortes, who has a history of sculpting toys for an impressive list of companies including Mezco Toyz, Mcfarlane Toys, NECA and Toy Biz. Pugzee is Cortes’ first solo designer toy scheduled to drop in the next few months, and he’ll come with a cigar, baseball bat, a Kangol hat and own comic book. We have fake nostalgia for Red Hook already.
Over the past few days a colossal architectural framework has slowly been erected at Pier 3 under the promenade in Brooklyn Heights. While we have to admit, our curiosity had been piqued we have yet to explore the reasons for the sudden appearance of this behemoth structure.
Luckily, for us the folks at mcbrooklyn allowed their curiosity to get the better of them and thus have blown
the lid off of a huge event. It seems that Diesel is setting the stage for one of the all time blowouts to take place on the Kings County border as they’ll be hosting a large dose of rock and roll madness and mayhem on October 11th.
The brand will invite 5,000 of their besties along with some of the top trendsetters (ooh…me…me!) to witness some serious theatrics and kick ass tunes for the grand finale of an 18 city international party known as the Diesel xXx “Rock and Roll Circus”. The gala will feature everything from fire eaters, trapeze artists, sword swallowing, cabaret, and even female roller derby squads to go along with performances from musical heavyweights N.E.R.D., M.I.A., and Hot Chip (and more). It’s the kind of lineup that looks to redefine the phrase “good time.” As long as there are no clowns.
Brooklyn-based artist Samantha Hahn is prolific to say the least. She illustrates for Glamour and Craft magazines, designs T-shirt and stationery patterns, blogs as Maquette when fashion and photography inspiration strikes, keeps a sketchbook for lovely female forms when she feels like drawing (which is almost hourly). Oh, and teaches art to third graders full time.
Earlier this year an agent at a trade show told Hahn she should limit her work to a single craft in the name of brand building. She said she wasn’t ready to not be all over the place. The daughter of a freelance illustrator, Hahn says she thrives from working with her hands and describes her drawing-based endeavors as intertwined. All of which only benefits aesthetics and detail-minded folks who are fans of her colorful sailor women plates, hand-lettering, and all that falls between.
An art advocacy non-profit based in Brooklyn brings us a show featuring two artists bending the template of urban art. AVOne of Destroy & Rebuild creates pieces inspired by classic street art and John Wright brings us Convoluted Construct, a peek into his fascinatingly twisted mind. The show opens October 11th @ Deity Lounge. Check out onefokus.org for details on the organization and the show.
After Godzilla emerged from the ocean to wreak havoc in the horrible 1998 film bearing his name, New Yorkers have longed to see large creatures duke it out on their shores once again. Even though that radioactive lizard is long gone that chance has finally come again. On August 23rd Kaiju Big Battle emerges from the murky depths of it’s usual home at Manhattan’s Webster Hall to descend upon Brooklyn. The event sponsored by MeanRed and Studio Kaiju, takes place at The Yard in Carrol Gardens and combines an enthusiasm for Japanese comic book monsters with the violently entertaining spectacle that is the wrestling match. For a small fee you’ll be able to see beasty hand-made behemoths locking horns with gruesome movie prop giants on the Bay of Gentrification known as the Gowanus Canal. Attendees will also be able to privy to some premium musical performances from by the likes of Peelander Z, Junk Science, Nick Hook and Team Facelift. Be there or be bodyslammed.
Big poster after the jump.