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Monsters & Misfits IV

A Circus Posterus Exhibition at Shibuya Hikarie, Tokyo

Tomenosuke + Circus Posterus (T+CP) is delighted to announce Monsters & Misfits IV, an exhibit of new work presented in collaboration with Tomenosuke-Syoten. This is the first Monsters and Misfits in Tokyo (Japan) and will be on display at Shibuya Hikarie at Creative Space “8/” from April 1st – 7th.

Monsters and Misfits IV will feature returning artists Brandt Peters, Kathie Olivas, Amanda Louise Spayd, Chris Ryniak, Andrew Bell, Stan Manoukian, and Carisa Swenson. Shing Yin Khor, Leslie Levings, Lana Crooks, and Kevin Titzer join the returning exhibition as new additions to the roster.

This museum level exhibition will bring you through a parade of strange and fantastic creatures and characters from these top contemporary designers, toy makers, and fine artists. This year’s group of Circus Posterus’ artists and guests present a hand-made sideshow of beady eyed night critters, devils, reptilian oddities, mouse kings, kappa skulls, ghost children, and more that promise to leave you awash in starry-eyed wonder. The fourth installment of this show features primarily hand made toys and sculptures inspired by cryptozoology and an idealized, re-imagined  animal kindgdom. Andrew Bell, Stan Manoukian, Kathie Olivas, Brandt Peters, Amanda Louise Spayd, and Chris Ryniak will be attending the opening reception on April 1st.

To purchase original artwork and, or view the Monsters and Misfits IV exhibition online, please visit www.tomenosuke.com on April 2nd (11 AM local Tokyo time) when the web preview is launched. Please contact Tomenosuke.com directly for any Monsters and Misfits IV purchase related questions.

Press images and additional promotional artist information are available upon request from our Press Manager.

The exhibit will run April 1st to 7th at Shibuya Hikarie in Tokyo, Japan, with an opening reception on April 1st.

Shibuya Hikarie (Creative Space “8/”)
2-21-1 Shibuya
Shibuya-ku
Tokyo, Japan
150-8510
03-5468-5892
http://www.hikarie.jp/en/

www.tomenosuke.com
www.circusposterus.com

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The sea creatures are stirring, and the waves are rolling in for Chris Ryniak and Amanda Louise Spayd’sSafe Harbor“.  We have been catch and releasing all kinds of progress images for the show on social media, but look no further now – because we have them packaged like sardines in one blog post for you.

You can see all manner of sea beasts from mermaids and sharks to crabs and dudes we can’t even describe properly in their most early stages. Go ahead and start drooling on some of these.
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The Safe Harbor opening reception is Friday, April 10th from 6 – 9 pm at Stranger Factory. Both artists will be in attendance.

***Due to high demand for these artists, items from the show will be available via raffle for attendees of the opening. Please contact Stranger Factory for more details.***

Stranger Factory
3411 Central Avenue NE
Albuquerque, NM 87106
505-508-3049

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Available now in the Circus Posterus store with super easy checkout is Carisa Swenson’s original creation “Max“.

Max in his striped shirt and overalls is just going about his day pulling along some of his favorite toys. This mixed media 7″ x 12″ creation features Carisa’s brilliant sculpting and fabricating talents, and as always, her work has such wonderful characters filled with rich definition and life. (The pull cart with toys really sets the personality of little Max – and of course, it goes with him everywhere he goes.).

Available now in the Circus Posterus store here!


Stranger Factory is excited to announce a new exhibit from collector favorites Chris Ryniak and Amanda Louise Spayd. “Unseen Forces” finds the two artists bringing us a glimpse of their trademark characters in a world steeped in magic and sorcery and….cake. Imagine if the village idiot was also the village mystic, and you’ve got the right idea.

Chris Ryniak’s signature creatures, eyes wide open to take in all the wonder, put on magical hats and stumble towards the meaning of life and a recipe for extra-moist cupcakes. Big smiles and fat toes abound as Chris brings us an exhibit of new drawings and hand-painted resin figures, large and small, including the new Crystalwort and Stumpwort.

Amanda Louise Spayd’s Dust Bunnies stare wide-eyed into the abyss in an attempt to comprehend the universe, and come away just as blank and confused as they arrived. Adorned with stars and ruffles and tattered accoutrements, Amanda presents her bunnies as resin figures and elaborate plush sculptures.

In “Unseen Forces”, both artists allow their childlike creations to drape themselves in the mysterious trappings of the occult, like a child at play in their parents clothing. Stars and powerful symbols are worn like party hats and face paint as Worts and Bunnies come out to play at Stranger Factory!

The opening reception is Friday, September 5th from 6 – 9 pm at Stranger Factory. Both artists will be in attendance.

***Due to high demand for these artists, items from the show will be available via raffle for attendees of the opening. Please contact Stranger Factory for more details.***

We’re so excited for the Vagaries opening on Friday! I caught up with some of the ladies featured in the show for a very short interview, and despite their insane work schedules, they were happy to oblige me. Read on for my chat with Carisa Swenson, Michele Lynch, and Allison Sommers.

Circus Posterus: How did you come up with the title and theme for the show? What does “Vagaries” mean to you?

Carisa Swenson: Given the varied nature of our mediums, styles and voice we each lend to our pieces, we felt it was best if we presented a title that didn’t trap us in a particular theme, giving us all freedom to create and follow our ideas wherever they took us. After tossing a few descriptive titles back and forth, we felt the word “Vagaries” (derived from the Latin “vagari”—wandering) best accomplished this. Using the definition helped push me to create new characters and forms as well as work with cast resin pieces.

Work in Progress by Kelly Denato

Work in Progress by Kelly Denato

CP: Did you all know each other already? If so, how did you meet?

Allison Sommers: Carisa and I know each other through mutual artist friends, she comes out to shows in the city every now and then.

Carisa: While both Allison and Kelly are NYC based artists, I only personally know Allison. We first met at a show opening in Brooklyn last year which we both had work in. As an admirer of Allison’s paintings, especially the altarpieces, it was quite exciting to finally chat with her.

Michele Lynch: I didn’t know anyone in the group, but I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone!

Work in progress by Allison Sommers

Work in progress by Allison Sommers

CP: Where do you draw your inspirations from?

Allison: Constant sketchbooking.

Michele: I’m inspired by fairy tales, flea markets, antique stores, a feeling, something someone says, Victorian society, so many different things!

Carisa Swenson: Animals and nature are huge sources of both comfort and inspiration. The works of Beatrix Potter and illustrator Bill Peet have always enchanted and influenced me, as well as the films of directors Jeunet and Caro (Delicatessen, City of Lost Children), the Brothers Quay and Ray Harryhausen, to the music of Kate Bush. Mythological tales of the trickster, and the desolation of old houses and abandoned buildings are never far from mind.

A delightful mole, by Carisa Swenson

A delightful mole, by Carisa Swenson

Allison, how long did it take you to perfect your colour palette(all those wonderful greys!)? 

Allison: Over the course of the last two or three years– there was a point a few years ago where I was fed up with the palette I was using then– it was rather garish and story-book-ish– and decided to try to strip myself down to (near-) monochrome and build up again. I ended up staying with the greys (and their related greens) for the most part, and later acquired the particular reds I use now through a serendipitous art-material-accident.

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Works in progress by Michele Lynch

 

Michele, how did you come across the steampunk influence in your work, and does it permeate the rest of your life as well?

Michele: The steampunk influence came about because when I first envisioned the sculptures, I could see them as half human and half mechanical, working for someone that had made them half machine, so adding machine parts to them came naturally. I wish I was active in the steampunk community! I think it would be so much fun to dress up in all those wonderful costumes! But sadly I just haven’t had the time.

Work in progress by Carisa Swenson

Work in progress by Carisa Swenson

Carisa, you’ve been branching out from your standard doll body shape, and it is delightful! Have you encountered any specific challenges with these newer designs?

Carisa: Thank you! Well, the sculpting isn’t an issue, but sewing up the bodies and clothing them has presented some challenges, most notably with the rabbit/bird hybrids due to the set of their wings and legs. Avian proportions add a whole new layer to the pain of sewing for me!

“Vagaries”  opens June 6th and run through July 6th, with an opening reception on Friday, June 6th from 6 – 9 PM.
Stranger Factory
109 Carlisle Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87106
505-508-3049

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Stranger Factory has two exhibits opening in June; “Vagaries” featuring new work from Carisa Swenson, Allison Sommers, Kelly Denato, and Michelle Lynch, and in the Project Room, “Transfigure”, a new exhibit by Katie Carillo.

“Vagaries” is a four-person exhibit with four distinctive voices in contemporary character art, each exploring the further corners of their work, and allowing themselves the opportunity to explore a bit beyond the walls of their usual style and themes. Without losing their distinct styles and voices, each artist is nonetheless enabled to create new work without the need for an overall theme.

Carisa Swenson sculpts and stitches odd and endearing characters that tread the line between fantastic and familiar. Her passion for these remarkable beasts comes from her lifelong love of mythology, cryptozoology, and the groundbreaking work of artists like Ray Harryhausen and the Henson Workshop. Her assemblage of wee beasties give us a glimpse of a fantastic world just beyond the edges of our childhood memories.

Allison Sommers is a Brooklyn-based artist who practices art less as an artist and more as an inventor or tinkerer; she considers all avenues and frequently changes her medium or technique to realize her vision. An experienced creator of paintings, drawings, books, sculptures, collage, and more, Sommers brings to Stranger Factory new works that are dark, exciting, and unsettling.

Kelly Denato is a Brooklyn-based artist whose delicate and ethereal paintings capture a hidden dimension of sight and emotion, taking stylized versions of the familiar and giving them new life as they spew ribbons of vivid color in the pursuit of their desires. Her work illustrates the slow strokes of melancholy alongside bursts of passion and love, in a surrealistic setting.

Michelle Lynch sculpts and paints strange characters pondering their own humanity as they experience the world through their unusual forms and metallic implements. Her “Steampunk Souls” seem to ride the line between child and machine, forever trying to find their footing as they straddle two worlds.

In the Project Room, Katie Carillo explores nature with a surrealistic eye for detail in a series of new paintings. Carillo pulls animals out of their natural habitat and then isolates and manipulates them to give the viewer a sense of bewilderment as familiar creatures melt or give way to almost blinding palettes of unnatural (for them) colors. Her newest body of work explores the ways in which nature changes itself, and the way that our observation can change nature.

“Vagaries” and “Transfigure” open June 6th and run through July 6th, with an opening reception on Friday, June 6th from 6 – 9 PM.
Stranger Factory
109 Carlisle Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87106
505-508-3049

Time for an update on Winter Salon III from two fabulous ladies we’ve covered earlier this month.

AlfieWe showed the early stages of a jackalope sculpt by Carisa Swensonand it seems like we have been waiting for the finished pieces as long as we have been waiting for Santa to come down ye ol’ chimney. Wait no longer, because Alfie is here! Totally dressed for a Christmas sweater party or for a shindig at the Griswolds, Alfie the Jackalope has his holiday game face on, and is all about snatching the gingerbread cookies. Santa better watch his back because there may be no cookies left come Christmas Eve!  Fabulous job, Carisa.

Alfie2Next up is a quadruple showing from Megan Baehr aka Nonesuch Garden. We showcased Megan hard at work in a felt wonderland creating centaurs for the show, but little did we know she threw us a curveball with her creative mind. Megan went outside the box for holiday centaurs.
wintercentaursMegan didn’t just create holiday plush centaurs we know from classic mythology and Harry Potter, but she also made a Deertaur and Unicenta with deer antlers and a unicorn horn. This string of ponies consist of Nightmare and Ginger the centaurs, Lolly the Unicenta, and Elwood the Deertaur. We can tell that Megan had a blast making these, and now everyone else can see when the show opens this Friday at Stranger Factory.
elwood2The Winter Salon III runs December 6th – 29th, with an opening reception on Friday, December 6th from 6 – 9 PM.

b712b2e654bd11e3803b1276cb13382f_7One thing about the cold winters, it gives great artists like Carisa Swenson time in the warm studio to work. Psssh…they don’t need an excuse to get to the studio!

The creativity is pouring from Carisa’s work space. We know she is a busy bee, but we did manage to get a few progress images for Winter Salon III again. This is still  developing work, but Carisa is sculpting the beloved mythical animal of North American folklore, the Jackalope.

So far, we can see three stages of her Jackalope development here: sculpting, painting, and squishy body creation. Above, we can see the head sculpt taking form. Below, starts the paint application, where many fine details come into play. Finally, (after a small time skip) the body creation and placement! Since Carisa is known for dressing her creations in a delightfully anthropomorphic style, we will just have to wait a bit to see what her genius mind thinks up for the completion.

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See all the work when Winter Salon opens December 6 at Stranger Factory.

 

All the artists involved in Winter Salon III are hard at work completing their pieces for the show. After some minor sleuthing, we found some progress images of Goblinfruit Studio aka our very own  Carisa Swenson.
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Carisa appears to be working on some of her amazing “Jackibous” and “Marottes”. Of course, these are the early stages and she is sculpting away, but we know what she is capable of. Winter Salon might turn into Winter Battle Royale with all the great work coming!

The Winter Salon runs December 6th – 29th, with an opening reception on Friday, December 6th from 6 – 9 PM.