Dead Wood

SHOP TALK: The Hamterview

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After closing out his very successful show, Dead Wood, at Stranger Factory last month, Gary Ham is barreling full speed ahead with lots of new work and a new child on the way! He’s had a busy year, with the release of the adorable Wooper Looper and the stackable Monster Toytem, which was first seen in handmade wood form at last year’s Bewitching show.

(Ham, hamming.)

Ham graciously allowed me to hog a bit of his time for a short interview on some of his processes, tools, and artistic choices. Process images usually make me squeal with delight, and the trough of images Gary sent in are no exception. Anyway, I won’t boar you to death with my bad puns, sow let’s just move on to the interview, shall we?

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Important Preview Info for Bewitching II and Dead Wood!

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Freaks and geeks, witches and ghouls, our favorite day is upon us and is sure to make you drool! The boards are coming off the doors and windows, the candles lit and cobwebs dusted at Stranger Factory as we busily prepare for the opening of our biggest show yet: Bewitching II. Featuring the works of roughly 40 artists from all over the globe, this show may very well bring about the apocalypse. The teasers alone are enough to cripple all expectations, self-restraint and bank accounts and those were just a sampling of what’s to come.

And we musn’t forget the sheer brilliance of this year’s sideshow act: Gary Ham’s Dead Wood. This will certainly be an exhibition to remember, and for the souls around the globe who can only attend in spirit, I bid you to listen well …

As per every exhibition, locals get first crack at the goods starting tonight through this weekend. Online collectors, the request period opens TUESDAY, Oct. 9 at  12 noon PST. It’s been pushed back a day on account of Baby Tattooville. Given the volume of art on the preview, an email may not be sent out to collectors in time. That said, the list is being constantly updated on the Stranger Factory website so check in this evening for the full spread. Please avoid camping on the site as it creates a lag for everyone. Art from both shows will be compiled on the same page.

Bewitching II and Dead Wood open TONIGHT with an reception from 6-9pm. Gary Ham will be in attendance! The exhibits run through Nov. 4th.


Gary Ham’s ‘Tricky’ for Dead Wood @ Stranger Factory, 10.5

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Shhh … be vewwy, vewwy, quiet … You see that over there? That’s Tricky! A satyr so rare that many deemed the breed long extinct, or just a fable told by those floating in the dregs. But there he is, in broad daylight and natural habitat — the last of his kind, I reckon. Tricky’s a prankster type, so step carefully; I bet he’s rigging the place with tripwire before heading out Albuquerque.

A custom-cut and hand painted wooden figure by Gary Ham, Tricky stands 14 inches, much to the credit of two candy stripe horns atop his head. Catch him and his maker next week as part of Dead Wood, opening Oct. 5th at Stranger Factory.

Dead Wood: A Conversation with Gary Ham

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So Halloween is kind of a big deal in these parts and we’re all stoked to bits as fright night creeps ever closer. We have two cracking exhibitions in store for the event: our second annual All Hallow’s group show, Bewitching II, and Dead Wood, a mini exhibit from the great Gary Ham. Our Steve Brown recently caught up with Gary to gab about the show and the surreal spookery he’s bringing to Route 66 Oct. 5th.

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Steve Brown: Let’s talk about your upcoming exhibition, Dead Wood. What’s the story with this new group of work?

Gary Ham: With the show taking place in October along side the Bewitching show, I thought it would be a lot of fun to keep my theme to creatures of the dead and an overall Halloween feel. I love drawing monsters and working in wood, so Dead Wood felt like the perfect title for the show. Usually the monsters might lurk behind the trees, but in this case, the trees became the monsters.

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Gary Ham’s SF Exclusive Wooper Looper for ‘Dead Wood’ 10.5

As part of Gary Ham’s Dead Wood exhibition opening next month, Stranger Factory is offering an exclusive colorway of his popular sofubi figure, Wooper Looper! Sporting the gallery’s signature black and orange, this adorable axolotl is here just in time for Halloween. Designed by Gary Ham and sculpted by the great Chauskoskis, this edition is a run of just 33 pieces and can only be purchased through Stranger Factory. Be sure to sign up for the preview via the email form on the Stranger Factory homepage for the full scoop (if you haven’t done so already — you need only sign up once!).

 Dead Wood opens Oct. 5th in conjunction with Bewitching II. A reception will be held for both exhibitions on Oct. 5th from 6pm to 9pm. Shows are on until Nov. 4th!

Wooper Looper Gets the Halloween Treatment for Gary Ham’s ‘Dead Wood’

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While I’m not too clear on what he has planned for tricks, Gary Ham certainly has some real treats in store for us with Dead Wood, opening next month at Stranger Factory alongside Bewitching II.

It appears our favorite axolotl, Wooper Looper, also has a taste for Halloweenia: doning a pumpkin head and striped slacks, he’s looking ready to fetch himself some candy, or TP a tree or two (or trick Linus into thinking he’s the Great Pumpkin…). The limited letterpress print is a run of 31copies and will be available at the show and online. A  custom Wooper figure based on the character will also be up for grabs.

Dead Wood opens Oct. 5th with an opening reception from 6 to 9pm. The exhibit runs through Nov. 4th.

Stranger Factory Presents: Gary Ham’s “Dead Wood” 10.5

Just when you thought the barnburner that is Bewitching II couldn’t get any better, Gary Ham comes along and joins next month’s hoedown at Stranger Factory with Dead Wood, a mini side showcase of new works utilizing a whole range of mediums including wood, plush and vinyl.

Inspired by his love for Halloween (and alleged fear of scary trees), Dead Wood will feature fresh incarnations of some of our favorite characters from the Arizona-based illustrator, along with a pair of highly-anticipated debut releases: his vinyl Monster Toytem, first seen as a wooden custom at Stranger Factory’s 2011 Winter Salon, as well as a brand-new Wooper Looper! Limited to just 33 pieces and sporting Stranger Factory’s signature black and orange, the toy will ONLY be available through the gallery. More info on that to come!

Dead Wood and Bewitching II open Oct. 5 through Nov. 4th. An opening reception will be held Oct. 5th from 6pm to 9pm.

Stranger Factory Presents: “Bewitching II” Group Exhibition, 10.5

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: Stranger Factory‘s annual Halloween group hoedown, Bewitching II, is back for another season of chills and thrills!

The traditions, folklore, costumes and nostalgia associated with All Hallow’s Eve are all strands that unite the Circus Posterus collective and Brandt and Kathie have called upon nearly 40 of their friends and peers — established and emerging, local and as far off as Japan — to interpret Halloween in their style. Andrew Bell, Lana CrooksDoktor A, FERGGris Grimly, Charlie Immer, Yohei KanekoJason Limon, Rhode MontijoRagnar, Chris Ryniak, Amanda Louise SpaydShigeta Tanaka and Chet Zar are just a tasty sampling of the talent, and the prices are suited to fit any collector’s budget.

To further the excitement, coinciding with Bewitching is the opening of Dead Wood, a mini-exhibition of new works from Arizona-based illustrator and toy designer Gary Ham. The show also marks the release of an exclusive colorway of Gary’s popular “Wooper Looper” vinyl toy; more on that soon!

Bewitching II and Dead Wood open Oct. 5th with a reception from 6pm to 9pm. Both exhibitions will be on view through Nov. 5th.