Monday, January 9, 2012

"Wham Blam Blamo" @ TAG, Hollywood, 7th January 2012.

We have the best work neighbours on Melrose Avenue. Last year Toy Art Gallery moved their showroom to come join us next door for some fun and to expose the Hollywood rock crowd to the world of contemporary toy collecting. They regularly have shows promoting artists from this world - some of them have been packed to the rafters!! It's all very new to me - I had no idea this scene was so big, and I am enjoying being exposed to a whole new aesthetic and art form. Plus the team of gentlemen who work there are all awesome.

The current show at TAG is actually not entirely unknown to us...we have known the Blamo kids for some time now as we stock some of their jewellery and have a couple of their handmade toys. But it was really exciting to see the new collection launched in one unified space, and even though it is produced by different artists singularly or as a team, there is an obviously strong cohesive drive to produce work from natural materials of such a strong quality. Whether it's wood carving, printing, painting, leather and brass work, the Blamo collective produce objects of such soul that they go beyond just "toys". As creatives they are all actually highly skilled artisans, and their otherworldly creatures invite us into a loving adventureland.

Blamo Wood Mask.

Swampy, Nimbus and Wood Robot.

Hand carved Hip Hop Billy, complete with visor, bandana and movable ghetto blaster.

One of a kind pair of lovers, Duncan and Matilda, my favourites.

My other favourite, Dr Who, incredibly carved and finished with a painted wall body. His head measures 32"x18".

One of the pair of Totem Paintings on display, with Big Ludovico in the foreground.

One of the centerpieces, Whooly, carved by Aleph Geddis and Spencer Hansen. A timelapse film was shown on the night of the entire carving process for Whooly. Much like Dr Who, and Frog Dog there is an influence from North-West American Indian art in this piece, particularly in Whooly's face.

Detail from Whooly's face.

Totem Painting in blue, with Big Hug Denim in the background, with a Frog Dog and Knuckles in the foreground.

The smaller Blamo toys, including Hug, Billy, and Micha Bear, and the TAG show exclusive, Panda Fuzzie Bear.

Blamo leader "Solo", watching over Whooly and greeting friends...Solo has been on this blog before. He's so cute I have to put up another photo of him....

....and my little Blamo acquisition, a mini white hug to add to my white collection, looking so loving on my mantlepiece next to the bulldog, calling out for hugs. I named him "Henry" after Henry's a long story.
There are also t-shirts and their famous monkey and bunny jumpsuits available at the show, along with some rad underpants, bandanas and jewellery featuring some of the Blamo characters. All are on display until the 28th of January - some items have already sold, so get to 7571 Melrose Ave in Hollywood to take a look, or jump on the TAG website to see the show and purchase items.

Blamo are really good people, so check out more of what they do at their website, and join the "hug revolution."