Archive for Art

This is what we’re going to next week

So Adam of, curator of Game Over: Continue, was in town to work on the upcoming gallery show.

“Did you go to the first one?” Adam asked me.

“N-no…” I admitted. “But! That’s why I’m definitely coming to this one. Guilt!”


Game Over: Continue opens at GRSF on March 27. Check out the list—there’s art from trailblazers like CUPCO, Jeremyville, and Bigfoot. Plus, four special game/art installations will be playable in-store.


Le Merde’s painting of Link is the stuff of nightmares

So there we were, sitting at a Hackintosh, peering through the online portfolio of Le Merde, an artist with a penchant for painting character art with pointy teeth.

Le Merde’s “Bruised, Beaten and Blackened” show just ended at GR2 in LA, and a ton of his work is available for purchase online. His resin figures remind me of Yukinori Dehara stuff, which is to say, they are awesome.

And I especially like his rendition of Link—it’s kind of neckfacey.



Birdo cross-stitch demands answer to age-old question

I wrote you a haiku!

Rosy dinosaur
Cannon-faced genderbender
Put a ring on it


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Invader attacks again

Yes! It’s a brand new video of Paris-based graffiti artist Invader, operating under the cover of darkness!

It’s tough to tell for sure, but he appears to scramble up the side of the wall with the assistance of a Little Giant. Then the cops make him go home. At least, I think they were the cops. Maybe the cops let him off the hook. You know what? This video gave me a headache.


Ness custom munny

Ness munny custom

My ol’ pal Albert just finished his custom munny of Ness, the kid from EarthBound.

It’s actually totally spot-on. I love the tiny backpack, too.

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Cave Story mosaic

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Pictorial tribute to Ziff Davis magazines and podcasts


I used to very literally wallpaper my desk with artist Bill Mudron’s deliriously detailed EGM illustrations. Each panorama is a tangle of pictorial puzzles, the geek equivalent of a Peter Spier painting.

In lieu of recent events, Mudron’s latest is this bittersweet cartoon collage of happier days. Each bubble is crowded with some of the people and in-jokes, past and present, that made each of the micro-franchises fan favorites.

Plenty more at the link, below.

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Gorgeous Dead Space custom action figure


Absolutely stunning. It definitely took artist Chris Hooton longer to make this toy than to play through Dead Space.

Here’s the real kicker, though: what’s under all those layers of paint and epoxy? Why, according to Hooton himself, one of these.

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The art and science of the Immersion Project

Recently, the Telegraph published an interesting article about Immersion, photojournalist Robbie Cooper’s artful anthropological project in which his preadolescent subjects are filmed as they play violent videogames.

The children are filmed from the neck up, straight-on and unwaveringly. The effect is startling: the children seem to stare right through you (there is a camera inside the television screen, the Telegraph explains), and you, in turn, are able to search the children’s faces in a distinctly creepy, voyeuristic way.

Some children are hauntingly dead-eyed, while others are more animated and emotive. And then there are the gigglers, those splendid sickos who can’t let themselves witness a head being blown off without tee-heeing to themselves.

It’s no understatement to say that what Cooper has committed to film is altogether disturbing. Cooper himself notes his fascination with people’s “absorption” of the “unreal,” and even at this early stage, his own footage is appropriately engaging and uncanny.

But I was quickly reminded of something I read in Everything Bad Is Good For You, about the horror of seeing your child sitting, slack-jawed and apparently unresponsive, in the television screen’s horrible glow. But what parents or critics are quick to misconstrue as the face of vegetative hypnosis, Steven Johnson countered, is actually the face of fierce concentration, of deliberate and active thought.

I worried, then, that the ultimate goal of Immersion could be one of fearmongering. So it seems valuable to note, for context’s sake, that Cooper identifies himself as a gamer. Maybe more surprisingly, though, the Telegraph article—which I myself read only after watching the video, twice—gets it right.

The Immersion Project is far from over. For the next 18 months, reports the Telegraph, kids’ facial responses to news footage, web videos, and movies will also be filmed and compared. It’s an interesting idea: how will children react, videotaped in the passive act of viewership, to simulated violence, or to news reports of real violence? In a culture of media supersaturation, in which we cope by emotionally disconnecting ‘reality’ from ‘the screen,’ what will our own faces tell?

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LEGO Batman: The Videogame: The Cake

I swear to break myself of posting about baked goods. At the very least, I won’t do another toy or cake -related post this week.

Oh, who am I kidding!

It took cake designer Elisa Strauss and a team of people twelve days to make this 300 lb (~136 kg) cake. The LEGO Men (and Ladies) are handmade and edible.

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Castle Crashers custom vinyl toys

You probably already saw these on Kotaku and Vinyl Abuse, but because I love them, here they are again: CASTLE CRASHERS TOYS.

The artist decided to customize vinyl Teddy Troops figures. With the Troops’ faces smoothed over with Sculpey, they bear (hur!) an uncanny resemblance to the heroes of Castle Crashers. Aside from the Knights’ admirably strong brows, I think the renderings of the little pets are the best part.

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TGS 2008 – Phoenix Wright action figures

No more toys! I insisted to myself last week. I was miserable. My bedroom, once spotless, is now cluttered with lidless boxes, each one full of tiny gashapon. I’d simply shelve the toys, but my shelves are already unhappily stacked with boxes full of Toy Collection 2006.

Poorhouse, meet my total lack of resolve. Because here they are, folks: ridiculously articulated figures from the Gyakuten Saiban series (including Ema Skye and Trucy, both from Apollo Justice).

Ema is my favorite. Forensic science is rad, and look how detailed her satchel is.

I can’t wait to get my hands on these, but no word yet on when, where, or how.

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LTTP: a belated art round-up


Something fun we can go to next weekend

...if you live here in the Bay Area, I mean. And I totally understand if you’re busy. But if you are anywhere near the Haight on Saturday night, you could pop on by Giant Robot—the one here in San Francisco, not the hip LA one—and check out art by heavy-hitting art bigwigs (David Horvath) and unsung heroes (Martin Cendreda). I mean, only if you’re up for it.

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Happy first anniversary to The Hacktory

I’m kind of loving Philadelphia lately. I love Geekadelphia, from whom I have borrowed liberally (shout-out to Eric!). I love the lads at Gamervision. I love the Liberty Bell and all it represents, which is liberty. And then there’s the VGXPO, which is something that is also in Philadelphia.

And now I am completely in love with The Hacktory.

While I was questing through in search of the Gaymers video, I came across “Geeks and Toys Go Wild,” a viewer-created video of a Hacktory-sponsored event. The tiny DIY fest is so rough-around-the-edges and charming, just magical LEDs and chip music and, probably, alcohol. The Hactory video at Current may never make it all the way to TV, so—for now at least—you’ll have to check it out online, either here or embedded here:

I feel like there is this incredible nerd culture in Philadelphia that the rest of humanity doesn’t know about. Specifically, the goings-on at The Hacktory—classes on how to design circuit boards, or events with chiptune musicians dimly lit by demoscene graphics—remind me, bittersweetly, of the art collective gatherings and events that so captured my imagination when I was some college kid having her first brush with adulthood in her first real city. These community events were sincere, earnest, and wholly unmarketable. They were, to quote the Philadelphia Weekly, “Authentic Geek.”

Incidentally, The Hacktory turns one year old this month, hence the illustration of a layer-cake with LEDs that I am ‘borrowing’ from their blog.

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