Nov 18 2012

Congratulations you have gained immortality.

A commission piece recently delivered to one of my largest collectors.. Two years in the works and pushing new directions and techniques.

1. Remove strap and leads from the storage drawer.
2. Place electrodes against forehead and tighten strap.
3. Attach bulldog clips to terminals in the jaw.
4. Set over-ride timer to desired duration.
5. Crank the main handle to build electrical charge.
6. Close the main switch to engage the electrical flow.
7. Increase the electrical voltage using dial.
8. Wait until your Asphyx manifests within the tube.
9. Shut off charge to electrodes using the main switch.
10. Transfer the Asphyx to a long term containment device.
11. Congratulations you have gained immortality.

Lifesized Resin human skull, Vintage brass lamp parts, Epoxy resin, MDF, Lead, Acrylic, Polyester resin, copper, brass, rubber, glass, vinyl, ABS, vintage leather strapping, dynamo driven lighting system, Found objects.
14″ tall.

The Asphyx appears in Greek myths as an angel of death like deity who appears at the moment of demise to seek release from it’s eternal pain by possesing the dying soul of its victim.
This piece is directly drawing on the itteration of the Asphyx as seen in the 1972 Britich Lions horror film starring Robert Stephens and Robert Powell and imagines what may have come to pass with the success of Sir Hugo Cunningham’s experiments in trapping an Asphyx, if the events of the film had not taken such a terrible turn for the worst.

The crank handle on the side of the Engine uses a dynamo to create a pulsing glow within the trapped Asphyx..


Nov 12 2012

New York Show Wrap up

From the 12th of October to the 11th of November, the Manhattan art-toy gallery and store MyPlasticHeart hosted my first New York solo show.
(Click pics to enbiggen.)

A year in the making this show exhibited my most complex and largest works so far. It stretched me in many creative ways, and I could not have been happier with the final event.

Vin and his staff at MPH went well out of their way to make this a real top notch affair. They repainted the walls, added velvet drapes and sourced many antique boxes for the display. Any idea I threw at them they ran with. They were the most amazing hosts for my art and for myself as I made the trip out to the Big Apple for the opening. And what an opening it was. The New York Comic Con was running that same weekend, which did mean there were a lot more art-toy type people in town, but also meant that there were a lot of other shows on the same night. Even so the crowd was buzzing, busy and never ending. Advertised as being from 7pm till 10pm, people began arriving around six and were still turning up when we finally closed the doors at midnight.

So many of my fellow artists turned up to see my work and I was truly flattered by all the great feedback. People really did love it. Lots of collectors also arrived, some of which I had never met before, so it was a real treat. I didnt stop taking all night, so many friendly and interesting people.

Later in the evening a very special guest made an appearance. Film director Guillermo Del Toro has been a supporter and collector of my work for some time so it was a special pleasure to have him attend the show in person. He bought with him Travis Beacham who is a fellow Bowler hat lover and the writer on Del Toro’s  latest film epic “Pacific Rim”.

All in all it could not have been a better experience and a high point in my art career to date. Thank you to everyone who came out to support me. And again to Vin and his team for all their hard work.

Voltaire and the SuckLord..

Amanda Louise Spayd and Chris Ryniak. ( Not looking at all like their creations in any way..oh no..)

Big Kev from Big Kevs Geek Stuff..

Sarah Jo and Dov from DKE toys and Toy Girls..


Apr 6 2012

A peek into my collection -BladeRunner Blaster-

I decided to start a series of blogs peeking into my personal collection of art and geekery. Just for my own fun to give me a little downtime (hah!) project and to share some of the stuff I have weasled away.

Today it’s my Bladerunner gun.
(Click on the pics to enbiggen!)

Well it’s actually called the TOME-BLA. Due to copyright reasons. And believe me the makers did try and get it officially licensed, but to no avail.

This is one of the prized pieces of my sci-fi collection. It is a perfect replica of the screen prop used by Harrison Ford in the movie. It is mostly cast metals with some plastic parts and weighs pretty much the same as a Magnum handgun, which is a lot.. It’s a chunky, solid piece which really does look and feel like a real gun.

Manufactured by Tomenosuke in Japan it was a passion project for the owner, Mr. Shinji Nakako who was a top movie journalist in the USA in the 1980’s and is reputedly the fellow who coined the term SFX.. He is also the author of the splendid Sci-Fi film encyclopedia ” A Pictorial History of SF Films”.

The Blaster comes in a stunning foil stamped box featuring nice 1980’s style graphics recalling scenes from Mr. Scott’s splendid film.

Inside it nestles in custom cut foam with the amunition lined up below it.

Included in the box are a schematic posted of the blaster showing the breakdown of the piece with an exploded view on the rear. This really shows the amount of work that went into the production of this piece. It is about as far from a resin block prop as you can get. Also included is a cracking booklet with lots of full page photos of the actual movie prop which was scutinised and measured  to get this repro as accurate as possible. It’s nice to see how beaten up the prop was and makes it tempting to “age” the Blaster from it’s factory fresh appearance to a more used look… Maybe one day, but for now it is too pretty..

There is a really nice touch in that the little lights under the barrels work. And they slowly warm up when you turn them on rather than simply click on and off.

The rear trigger operates the hammer action and revolves the barrel as you would expect. The forward trigger has no function on this prop and indeed it is unclear how it was supposed to work on the film gun had it been real. Maybe discharged a heavier round from the top barrel, though this is blocked. I recall Ridly Scott taking about how the gun was proposed to fire mini black holes which would fold the target in on itself to destroy them, but this was never made clear in the film..

I love the transparent amber resin handle. It lends a real lightness and elegance to the weapon.

Though the safety catch is locked in place, the lever action works and opens the breach as to eject some empty cartridge. This is not a common feature for handguns, usually only found on rifles. It is a lovely detail for them to have engineered into the prop.

The chamber can also be unlocked and be hinged out. It revolves and the Brass cased, Steel tipped shells can be loaded into place.

I decided I really needed a decent wall mount to properly show the Blaster off and to display is safely. So I knocked up this from some MDF, Foam-core and mounting board with steel supports. It is modelled on the wall tiles in Deckard’s apartment, which in turn are inspired by the work of architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

So now I bet you want to know where you can get your hands on one of these beauties for yourself?

 

Well there were two versions made of the Tomenosuke-Blaster, one is the “Hero Model”, which is this one, and another one is the “Police Model”.

Shinji wrote on his blog :
“The Police Model of Tomenosuke Blaster is the perfect reproduction of the futuristic gun that made an appearance in the sci-fi cult movie in 1982. After spending more than four years of development, the Hero Model, used by the protagonist of the same movie, was released last December to be welcomed by the fans. This time, the gun used in the movie by the police force will be released with the limited production of 300.”

The Police model is the same but has a solid black handle instead of the clear amber version.
This is the URL for the Tomenosuke-Blaster on the Japanese store site. (In Japanese.) :
http://www.tomenosuke.com/blaster/

And Shinji’s blog about the Blaster (In Japanese.) :
http://tenshu53.exblog.jp/i17/

You can also purchase them from the movie toy store “Hollywood Collectors Gallery”.  They also hold stock in LA.
The Hero Model. ( Info in English at the bottom of the page..)
http://www.hollywood-japan.jp/html/newpage.html?code=11
The Police Model. ( Info in English at the bottom of the page..)
http://www.hollywood-japan.jp/html/newpage.html?code=16

I don’t think this Blaster could have been made any better than it has been. Truely a remarkable piece.
To the modelmaker who built it and to Shinji and his team who putthe project together I have to say ; “You’ve done a man’s job sir!”


Nov 19 2011

L.A. Trip part 2

A week ago I got back from L.A.
Other than Designer Con and Toy Break I spent a couple of days catching up with friends and seeing some of the sights.

My uber talented friend Neil Winn was able to arrange a little trip to Spectral Motion, a creature effects studio who he works with sometimes. So he, I and other multi talented friend George Gaspar Paid a short visit.
Spectral Motion have done some of my favorite creature character work in recent years so it was an exciting place to look around for me.


We were not allowed to look around the whole facility due to secret “Pacific Rim” work taking place in some of the workshops, but I did get to see their foyer and the machine shop. The foyer is a mini museum of films they have worked on. The first thing that greets you is the full sized Sammael from Hellboy. This thing is HUGE. The photos done really show its scale. But my respect for Brian Steel has gone up massively since seeing it. To ware a suit that bulky for any length of time, let alone perform in it is a truly awesome feat.


This is me and Neil with the portal opening glove which Rasputin uses at the start of Hellboy. It is a stunning piece of work. Up close you can see all sorts of mechanical and surreal gizmos which never read on the screen. For example :

 


Some of the glass vials have mummified frogs in them. And there is a scorpion under a mechanised hatch on the back of the hand.. You cant see these details from a couple of feet away let alone in the movie.


Note the swastika on the gauge!

Also from Hellboy they had on show maquettes of Behemoth and the Ogdru Jahad and the animated Russian corpse. Astonishing works all.


In the Machine shop we were greeted by some familiar faces.

Johann, Mr. Wink and the Angel of Death from Hellboy II stand upon a shelf overlooking the large very well equipped room. The detail in these figures was stunning and the physicality of them was very visceral. They really are like people not things such is the level of craftsmanship employed in their design and production. It’s hard to explain what meeting these beings in the flesh is like over seeing them in photos or in the films.

The grass wolf creature in the middle is from “Lady in the Water”. Not a film I am familiar with but since the trip one I want to see as soon as possible.

We were also treated to an impromptu demonstration of some amazing anamatronic pieces and had a poke about a preternaturally clean foam casting room. The whole place was amazing and I envied the people who get to work their magic there. Everyone was extreamly friendly and went out of their way to show this pasty faced English no-body a splendid time.


George and Neil with the Angel of Death.

 

Oh and if you haven’t seen “Don’t be afraid of the dark” yet.. Close your eyes now…….

 

 

 

 

 

After the Spectral Motion visit we drove out to the home and studio of a favorite artist of mine.

Chet Zar has been at the top of my favorite artist list since the moment I first discovered his work. His creature designs are among the most unique and inspired creations ever rendered. His paintings are masterful and his sculptural work is then best in the business. I was a little nervous about meeting him.
But as is always the way with awesome artists (in my experience anyway) he is the most wonderful, grounded and easy going fellow you could wish to meet.
We got some splendid pizza in a little place by his studio and talked about the art scene, tattoo conventions and general this and that. He was kind enough to add a sketch to my compendium of monsters (along side Neil’s ) and we planned a little project for next year.

His studio was a delightful tangle of creative chaos. Piles of old projects and part finished sculpts and a large current piece which had amusingly been partially eaten by his dog during the night… It was great to see some of his larger paintings and some truly wonderful works by his immensely talented father.
I am lucky enough to own a couple of small painting by Chet, but had never seen any of his larger pieces.

It was a very pleasant end to my short American adventure.

After dropping Chet off we headed out to the airport for my not so short flight back to rainy Blighty.


Nov 14 2011

Designer Con 2011 Recap

The weekend of the 5th/6th November was spent in (abnormally) not-so-sunny California. A mere 14 hours plane ride for this pasty English fellow.
The reason for the trip? The annual gathering of the art-toy clans at the premier geek event that is Designer Con..

This was my second year in attendence so I had some idea what to expect.
Though the hall at the Pasadena convention centre had now changed to their main room and the booth numbers swelled by about 30%. It was a bigger, brighter and ballsier show that any other in it’s previous five year run.

I was stationed this year at the Circus Posterus booth with fellow collective artists Kathie Olivas, Brandt Peters, Chris Ryniak and Amanda Spayd.
(I didnt get much chance to grab photos of my own so I have scalped these off the web. Thanks to Shinji, Brad and George and those others who took them).


This was me and Amanda behind out booth, showing off our Japanese cookies. A lovely gift from awesome collector, store owner and all round splendid fellow Shinji Nakako.
Most of the day was spent vending out megre wares to the friendly masses and doodling endless monsters and robots for anyone who wanted them. The one at the top of this page was a rare collaborative sketch between Amanda and myself for some lucky chap who seemed jolly pleased with it.

Me and Chris Ryniak were also interviewed in a live web streamed chat show type escapade by the Super Sucklord. You can view the whole 6 hour talkathon via the Toy Break Ustream channel (click on the “LIVE” link ) or just watch our part here (it’s around the 2h30 mark). Kathie and Brandt also made it to the couch very near the end of the day.

My “Nocturnal” Humphry Mooncalf figure was released as a con exclusive by 3D Retro. And I sat for a while at their booth signing them for people who purchased.
I am sure they will have any remaining stock available online in the next few days.

The event also saw the quiet unveiling of my latest production toy venture.
Chester Runcorn is a new 6″ figure to be released by Kuso Vinyl mid next year. They sneekily has secreted one of the prototypes in their display cabinet and we waited to see if anyone would notice. Indeed they did, very quickly!  I was fielding questions about the new arrival all day whilst I believe the poor Kuso booth staff had to fend off offer to purchase the prototype for hours upon end..

 

And just like that it was all over.
A very fast day indeed, probably amplified by a somewhat jet-lagged brain no doubt. I got to do one full curcuit of the hall this year. Which was 50% more than last year and even picked up a few presents.

If you love toys of the odd handmade or small run veriety. Or designer vinyl and underground art, I can recommend Designer Con as a cracking day out.. The door price is a fraction of SDCC, for a far superior, friendlier and more relaxed convention.
Ayleen and Ben hosted a splendid show this year and I hope to be back in the near future.

 

The next day was spent wandering the streets of DisneyLand in the rain and sampling its dubious wares with the Circus Posterus crew and some lovely members of the Sideshow Forum there…. I will let the photos speak for themselves..


Feb 1 2011

Mooncalf Review

The first Mooncalf review is up on Toys R Evil.
http://toysrevil.blogspot.com/2011/02/toy-review-humphrey-mooncalf.html

“The figure is a well desirable product distinguishable amongst a sea of urban – not just because it is a distinctively a Doktor-A-design, but because it is so well made, and one of the better made figures I have ever seen in a long, long time.”


Jan 30 2011

Toys R Evil

Stay absolutely tuned to http://toysrevil.net/ for awesomeness :)


Dec 3 2010

Toy Break

Episode 146 of the internet TV toy show “Toy Break” is up and Doktor A is the guest!


Jul 21 2010

Art from the NewWorld

Last month we made the trip to Bristol to visit the “Art from the New World” show at the Bristol City art gallery (The same place that held the big Banksy show not long ago..)

It was well worth the trip.

Curated by the Corey Helford gallery it collects together a whole gaggle of cutting edge American (and English living in America) artists together and shows there work to the general public in a big show away from the usual “scene” type venues. This is a great entry level show for anyone who hasnt ever heard of the phrases “Low Brow” or “Pop Surrealism”.
As you can see on the flier above there is a top line-up of artists with some amazing pieces many new for this show.

You are greeted in the main hall before entering the show gallery by a huge inflateable Buff Monster Ice cream. Buff has also painted a large mural on the walls in three alcoves in the same room.

To the left of the ice cream was a huge Todd Schorr piece.

Inside, the show hall is a large open space with a lot of room to breath and weave between the many people wandering around the show. This wasnt an opening or anything special just a regular week day and it was still very busy.
ok so the place looks empty in the photos but I was waiting for people to move before snapping.

And here are a load of closeups of some of the pieces.
Not really a dud in the show and a great variety of styles too.

This was the first time I had seen actual works from a lot of these artists. Its odd to have known and followed some artists for years and yet never had the chanbce to actually see an original work before. One of the problems of being in the UK with practically all the shows being in the USA.


Brandi Milne


Travis Louie


Silvia Li


Stoupakis


Greg Simkins


Todd Schorr


Sas Christian


Mark Ryden


Mellisa Forman


Liz McGrath


Liz McGrath


Mia


Camilla Rose Garcia and below Joshua Petker

Outside the show gallery it’s easy to miss Colin Christian’s piece. Although it’s huge at around four feet tall, it’s hung in the room behind the one with the icecream. Take a moment to wander in there and check it out. Its a cracker.

The show runs till the 22nd of August 10am to 5pm daily.

Do go and check it out if you can.
Also it’s worth noting most of the pieces are available to be purchased, though many had sold when I visited.

…Museum site link…


Apr 20 2010

We Heart Wood show pictures

Images from the recent “We Heart Wood” show are online now here :
http://www.flickr.com/photos/22051634@N04/sets/72157623459378501/

WeLoveWoodShowWide