Baby Jouwe

I finished my Jouwe today for the show art TAG.

Let me explain this piece.  From the beginning it was always my intention of bringing the Jouwe character to life. When I finished my Celsius piece I felt that I had maybe gone too far away from the platform and not showcased the original toy enough.  So I immediately decided I wanted to just take the red Jouwe character and animate him.  My original concept was to have this guy on a swing hanging from a tree.  Ambitious but I thought it would connect with people.  Unfortunately time wasn\’t on my side and I had to scrap that idea.  So I kept the idea of taking the existing character and just fleshing him out a bit.  I moved the horn down to a more realistic position for a rhino and added a mouth and nostrils.  I then  figured I\’d sit him down and have him reaching up toward the viewer. I actually made a baby rhino very similar to this about 13 years ago for an ex-girlfriend who loved rhinos. I kept thinking, ehh, I\’m copying an old idea.  But I figured that was a long time ago and no one has seen that piece. The piece seemed too simple so I decided it needed something else.  I toyed with the idea of putting a lolly pop in his hands and a pet food dish at his feet.  But none seemed to work for me.  I did then think of putting a butterfly on his horn.  I liked it, it was simple, pure and fell in line with the cute baby rhino look I was going for.

Well, today as I was packing this fella up to ship, and I was digging through boxes, I came upon the original Jouwe box.  Now anyone who\’s purchased this toy, and you fellow customizers, might be aware that it came in an awesome box that had some great artwork on it.  Well, today as I looked upon the box I was reminded of the art and to my embarrassment one of the illustrations on the box is the Jouwe sitting down, much like my finished piece. Actually, it\’s in nearly the exact position as my old baby rhino I did. To add to my embarrassment, there are butterflies as well. I don\’t know how I didn\’t remember that this was on the box or if it was really my subconscious memory recreating what I had seen.  But I felt silly.  I looked at my wife, laughed and said, oh well, what can you do.

So here\’s my Jouwe, straight off the box.  Like I said, it had been my intention of showcasing the toy and not veering far off the platform.  I just got carried away I guess.

Stone Golem for Milk Munny Exhibition

Ever hear of the golem?  No, not Smeagol from the LOTR but the creature from hebrew folklore.  Legend has it that this humanoid man of earth could be controlled by inscribing the word emet (אמת \”truth\” in hebrew) on it\’s forehead.  This creature could not think for itself so instructions were placed in the golem\’s mouth.

My incarnation of this fable shows a young child summoning a stone golem to do her bidding.  You can see the shock on the child face as folklore becomes reality.  The beast is ancient and iron supports have been added here and there to keep it from falling apart.  Miracles are being conjured on this cold autumn evening.

This piece was created for and donated to the Milk Munny Exhibition.  The exhibition put on by artist Trevor Hill and being held at the Monorchid Gallery in Phoenix, Arizona, features vinyl art from a huge list of artists and will be donating the proceeds to the Keep a Breast Foundation.  That means this Mega Munny will be up for sale for an amazingly low price of $750.  Help out a good cause and buy it Oct 1st.


This is a late post, should have gone up last Friday when Coolvader showed me the work but I\’ve been insanely busy.

So yeah, last Friday he revealed his portion of our collaboration and my jaw hit the floor.  As I gazed at it and absorbed what I saw I began to realize how much I respect Coolvaders work.  First, it dawned on me that by keeping things simple Matt was allowing my sculpt to show through.  He could have easily added tons of little details that would have overshadowed anything I did. But secondly, it began to set in how well balanced the cute little bunny is with this twisted quadrapus-thing ripping out of the poor bunny\’s butt.  The red on white pops so vividly.

Initially I designed the sculpt to be a labbit that happened to have a eye and four tentacles coming off the butt.  But Coolvader interpreted the sculpt to be the eye and tentacles ripping out.  Thank goodness he did cause wow.  It creates such violent moment in time.

As you can tell, I\’m happy with the way this turned out.  What\’s great is that this is something I\’d never be brave enough to create on my own and put in my portfolio, but thanks to Coolvader I have this wicked piece to shock and delight.  Sorry Mom.

For all the pics of this gory piece head on over to my flicker account