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Manoukian logging his latest discovery

Stan Manoukian saw his first monster at age thirteen. Out for an early morning fishing trip with his father, the fog loomed heavily above the water at the edge of the lake. With his rod in the water, the young Manoukian waited patiently for a tug on his line. But nothing came. And soon, he noticed everything around him had stopped. The sing-song of nearby birds, the rustling of leaves on the breeze; time, he said, seemed suspended.

The boy looked back in search of his father, who was still fussing with his fishing gear at the car. Stan turned his attention back to the dead calm of the water in front of him, and that’s when he saw it. A ripple, a big one, disturbing the glassiness of the water about 10 meters away, where the fog was heaviest. His eyes grew wide. He inched his toes closer to the water, but found he was already at the edge. The ripples approached. Stan could only watch. As they grew closer, the giant head of an unknown aquatic creature broke the surface of the water. Its skin was smooth, the gaze of its one eye arresting.

"Hughmee"

“Hughmee” 9.6″ x 7.6″ mixed media on lithograph paper

“It wasn’t dangerous looking at all,” Manoukian, now 43, recalls. “It was a mix between a fish and a human, with two big arms and tentacle fingers. We watched each other for probably only a few seconds, but the exchange felt interminable. My father came back from his car and nature returned to life; the creature disappeared in the blink of an eye and suddenly I had a big fish on my fishing rod! I guess it was a present from this creature as proof of our meeting.”

Since then, the Parisian artist sees monsters all the time, and everywhere. Even in the shower. “But you know, they don’t care about nudity,” he laughs, “nudity is liberty!”

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Circus Annual is already upon us and before the festivities get into full swing tonight, we figure we’d toss a few more gumdrops ’cause these pics are too sweet to pass up. Right off the top, we have gorgeousness from Brandt Peters, Kathie Olivas and DrilOne, with (from left): an Ooze Skull, custom Skelve, SD201 Red Star Drone and a custom Greeter Skelve that is guaranteed to spark an internet-wide riot.

And just in case those gorgeous Elizabeth handpaints from last week weren’t enough, Kathie will also have a 17″ Lizzie in the show. Yep. Anyone have a drool bucket? Hang it off my ears.

And this was the arrow through the heart for me: Brandt will have a small series of 6- and 8-inch wood pieces featuring a few of our favourite characters, new and old (wait till you see Slap-Happy!). But enough teasing: on to the preview! Many pieces still need to be added today and through the weekend, but there’s still a ton of goodness to ogle in the meantime. Allons-y!!

In addition to his swanky painted hand drums and a bunch of brand-new paintings, Derek Yaniger will also have eight sketchbook originals on exhibit as part of A One-Way Ticket to Flipsville, opening tomorrow in Stranger Factory’s Small Projects space. Each full-colour sketch ranges from 7″ to 9.75″ square and retails for around $100. A perfect way to scratch the art lovers off your list … or indulge yourself without the guilt!

A One-Way Ticket to Flipsville and Circus Annual open tomorrow (Dec. 7th!). Party kicks off at 6pm, come on by!

Amanda Louise Spayd is bringing the chill of winter to Circus Annual tomorrow with a batch of new custom plushes, each inspired by the season’s elements. From top, say hello to Blizzard, Drift and Sleet, three of six critters that will be on exhibit. Each is entirely hand sewn, sculpted and painted by Amanda, so every detail is unique, right down to the uber perdy forehead embellishment.

Looking to add one of these gnarly-toothed dudes to your collection? You’re certainly not alone: be sure to sign up for Stranger Factory’s newsletter and keep an eye on your inbox this weekend for the preview and purchasing instructions. Circus Annual opens tomorrow (Dec. 7th) with reception from 6 to 9pm. Show’s on until the end of the month!

We all knew it was bound to happen, and are we ever glad it did! After seeing the teaser a few days ago, we couldn’t wait for more to salivate over. The meeting of two great artistic minds is taking shape with the dynamic duo of Kathie Olivas and Valency Genis, and these wall mounts are the combined super powers of these amazing ladies. Skelve masks, party hats, tentacles, floppy ears and more! We only have to wait a few more days to see all 8-9 of these unique beauties for Circus Annual, and like a little kid at Christmas, I am screaming “I want to see now!!!!”

Circus Annual opens Dec. 7th with a reception from 6 to 9pm.

YOUR CRUMBS ARE BELONG TO US.

Following months of WIPs and teasers, we finally have a good look at Chris Ryniak’s Nuggleworts for Circus Annual, opening this Friday at Stranger Factory. From left to right, say hello to THISTLEWORT, DEADSTONEWORT and SHALLOWORT. Each colorway is an edition of TWO, so expect SIX of these little dudes to be scampering around the gallery. The Nuggles stand 6 inches and all are cast, cleaned, painted and loved by Chris. You’d expect them to look a little happier … separation anxiety, perhaps?

Circus Annual opens THIS FRIDAY! (Dec. 7) with a reception from 6-9pm. ABQ friends, you get first crack at the goods! Online collectors, expect the preview to hit your inbox this weekend. We’ll start taking email requests on Monday, Dec. 10th at Noon PST.

Now this is our kind of apocalypse party! CP customizer Leecifer is bringing an alien invasion to Albuquerque for Circus Annual, opening next Friday at Stranger Factory. Indeed, Big Sal has been given the Leecifer treatment with his trademark bold colours and steel wool-style paint application. Loving the addition of the Greeter-style spiral noses, as well. The Sals will also be joined by a few custom Stingy Jacks, including the remaining Candy Corns Jacks that debuted earlier this month at DesignerCon.

Circus Annual opens Dec. 7th with a reception from 6 to 9pm. Show’s on until the end of the month!

 

She may have just wrapped up SUBTERRANE this month at Stranger Factory, but resident painter/sculptor/wonder woman Valency Genis isn’t through yet! A few days ago she gave us this exciting sneak peek into her studio, where she’s busily fashioning a whole fleet of taxidermy “Skelve heads” for Circus Annual. Some are real, some are resin, some are tentacles — all are unique and equally fabulous! Valency anticipates having 9 or 10 for the show, so there will be plenty of Skelve lovin’ to go around.

Circus Annual opens Dec. 7th with a reception from 6 to 9pm. Valency will be in attendance, so be sure to say hello!

Kathie Olivas has both two- and three-dimensional goodness in the works for Circus Annual, Stranger Factory’s holiday invitational opening next month. Kicking things off are Winter Cat and Winter Rabbit, two new graphite and acrylic on wood studies with domed resin finish. The each measure 6″ x 12″ x 2″. Pricing is TBA. Those floppy rabbit ears get me every. single. time.

Circus Annual opens Dec. 7th with a reception from 6-9pm. Party’s on until the end of the month!

 

Good news for those who missed out on the debut release of Kathie & Brandt’s Midnight 4-Legged and Mini Masao Skelves at DesignerCon: the official CP release for these will coincide with Circus Annual at Stranger Factory, opening Dec. 7!

The 4-Leggeds are an edition of 66 ($250), while the Mini Masaos are a run of 100 ($65). Sign up for the preview here if you’re looking to pick these up. BUT, if the rare Midnight Mini with the GID mask is what you seek (they were an exclusive at Mana’s booth at DCon), keep it locked on the CP forum — the GIDs will be available through a lottery ONLY.

Circus Annual opens Dec. 7 with an opening reception from 6-9pm. Show’s on until the end of the month!