Custom 3\” Betso
It\’s been over a year now since I got this commission. It\’s just amazing how time flies by. I really wish I could work faster than this but life as a stay at home dad takes a lot of my time. So to the very patient client who commissioned this piece, thank you.
This Custom Mini Munny was a private commission. The client simply asked me to create something similar to my Golden God PAW commission that I revealed over a year ago. I said I wouldn\’t do the same thing, but, you know, I\’ve wanted to do something Egyptian. He agreed and the terms of the deal was that I\’d be able to make a limited series of resin casts(10) off his original. He gets to keep the first cast but that means I have 9 others to sell. Well, make that eight because my nephew gets one of everything I do. And it\’s his birthday coming up so I might as well say to him, Happy Birthday Zinn 🙂
Amun-ny-Ra. It\’s almost like the name Amun-Ra was made to be converted into a Munny. Each resin munny has been individually hand painted and weathered with care. Each is accompanied by it\’s own resin base inscribed with Egyptian hieroglyphs. The 4 obelisks read \”1 Munny KidRobot, Kevin Gosselin, 2012\” and the client\’s name. The base is inscribed with the words, \”Tell me why I had to be a power slave?\” These, to those in the know, are the words to an Iron Maiden song that I was inspired by when creating the piece. Amun-ny Ra is the king of Gods and holds the ankh, the key of life .
Each cast has been signed and numbered.
This limited series was suppose to be simply weathered, but in the course of events, a happy accident happened. I went to make the mold of the original vinyl munny custom and put it in the pressure pot, completely forgetting that the air inside the munny would also pressurize, when I took the piece out I discovered the original had been crushed. After many curses I began to see the silver lining. What was remaining looked beautiful. I couldn\’t have sculpted better cracks. So I decided to incorporate them into the piece. But it required more work. The vinyl was warped so I had to transfer the pieces to a new munny, of which I didn\’t have one lying around and really wanted to finish it asap, so I took my munny that was autographed by Frank Kozik and used that. Sorry Frank.
There\’s been a lot of talk about artists copying artists out there lately and I like to think about it like this.
People will buy my stuff because they want my work. Not someone else\’s work that is similar. I never believed in the idea that if someone else was copying my work that it would harm my sales. It\’s not like my work has a functionality to it that can be copied and made faster and cheaper. My work is not, let\’s say, a vacuum.
Say as a buyer I have a need. That need is to clean my floors. I really like the dyson but can\’t afford it. I go and buy another model that mimics the dyson but is far cheaper. In this type of market where the product in mind has a functional purpose it is possible for someone to come out with a cheaper alternative to my product and still get a similar desired result by that purchase. But with art, there\’s no real functional purpose to it aside from it\’s aesthetic value and that is in the eye of the beholder. Each artist and their respective art represents some intangible something that is the sum of more than just their tangible art. An art collector can not simply purchase a knock off piece of an artist and get that same satisfaction from it. I\’m not implying that the knock off is any less in value than the original, I\’m just saying it\’s not the original. People collect art because they value what it is, not what it does. And only the original can account for that.
In regards to the people who to create and sell copies, I don\’t really worry at all about them. Now that\’s not to say that it doesn\’t upset me. But I\’m not upset because I think it\’ll reduce my efforts or hinder my success. Far from it. I\’m upset because it goes against my morals and ethics. I always get upset when I see others making poor choices. Now copying is a fantastic way of learning. I don\’t mind copying at all, it\’s the profiting off copying that I mind. But that\’s between the copier and the copied. If the person being copied doesn\’t mind then why should anyone else. It\’s really not for me to decide what\’s right and wrong. Can I have an opinion about it, sure, but let\’s not be so hateful about it.
And to be clear, I don\’t mind people copying me. Not that they would. But if they did I don\’t think I\’d mind much, and here\’s why. When people copy you it\’s because they see worth in you. It validates that you are worthy of notice. And if other people are willing to purchase work that mimics yours it just means that your worth is to a level that even stuff that is a just a copy has value. It perpetuates the hype of the original. If even a copy of your work will sell, then I don\’t think that you\’re having any trouble selling the original.
Beginner artists usually draw upon a lot of different styles within their favored scene and I think it\’s a very appropriate way of learning. If the beginner wants to sell that and the people he\’s emulating are comfortable with that I think it\’s all cool. But eventually he should develop a truly unique style and I think by matter of course that is inevitable. And here\’s the thing, if people actually want to buy something that is based on someone else\’s work instead of the original then I think that\’s cool. I doubt that those same people are buying it cause they can\’t or won\’t buy the original. And if that\’s the case, then it\’s probably because the original is so expensive that a cheaper version is just more accessible. And I don\’t think that is applicable in this particular market.
So that leads me to my cover band analogy. The question is, do you want to be a cover band? Someone who only does tributes, working in dives? Not many people do. But a lot of beginners start this way. I think I can say with certainty that every person that picked up a guitar the first time probably learned to play their favorite song written by someone else. But they eventually build upon that experience and create their own songs and amass their own followers. And lastly, do you think that any cover band ever threatened the existence of the real band. No.
And that\’s why I think we need to be less hateful.
A while back I was asked to create a piece as a gift to someone for Christmas, as time drew short the client said that it would be OK to make the gift a birthday gift so I got a little extra time. The recipient is an artist too and I\’m told sometimes a little grumpy(well yeah, he\’s an artist). He has a fondness for bulldogs and I was to link the giver to the piece as well. This is what I came up with. I have to say that it has always been most rewarding to me when my art has been done with these types of personal connections in mind.
Oh and the pose that the character is in is fashioned after my daughter. She likes to place her hands within her overall like this.
Well, today was the birthday and I can finally post this piece.
It is not known who Mr. AZ is but the Hopi people in Kykotsmovi Village will tell you that one day this outsider began showing up asking for food and water. The outsider would appear every few days for about half of a year. When he stopped the Hopi feared for his safety and set out to locate him. They found he had created a permanate camp a few miles from their Village. As he was not disturbing anyone they let him be but kept a careful watch over him. In the next few years they would learn little of him. Where he came from and why he was here? Who was he protecting himself from with his primitive stone spear? These are questions the Hopi have no answer for.
The Hopi would tell Mr. AZ that he was being cared for by Madl. In Hopi mythology, Madl is the Kachina spirit dedicaded to the troubled soul seeking penance. Madl watches over these souls and keeps them safe until they find inner peace.
Over time the Hopi believed Mr AZ did find peace and he devoted his life to the Kachina spirit Madl. He has built a monument dedicated to the spirit and dwells within.
This piece was a private commission.