Red Ballon Links




Autor: KaM©

~ 17/06/17

Homage to Jean Michel BASQUIAT. By Karey Maurice aka KaM© 2017

I wanted to initially write an artsy article relating to this years Whitney Biennial and it’s controversial subject surrounding the ‘Black Lives Matter’ theme. But I allowed time to pass and see if there would be any action after outrage over the whole thing?

I basically choose to start creating something based on what I read because I knew I would not be able to see the exhibition in person. It was just a jump off point then the auction happened and I kept getting tagged on my #Facebook page about the record sale of my contemporary artist doppelgänger #JeanMichelBasquiat who he and my friend #KeithHaring continue to either inspire or haunt me at times because of the close relationships.I guess #BlackLivesMatter has been proven or at least the auction sale readdresses the question of representation and value?

Autor: KaM©

~ 07/05/17

Customized 8″ inch Kidrobot Dunnys by KaM© 2017

During the winter months I like to stay inside and work on projects that take some time to complete.

I move into a sculptor frame of mind and work on my favorite kind of 3D canvas called a Dunny platform designed by Tristan Eaton for the super hip designer toy company Kidrobot.

I use polymer clay and some modeling paste to create some of the personal characters that seem to create themselves because there is no preliminary skectches or drawing.

I leave them out for a while until an idea hits me then I begin to execute what it is I see in my minds eye.

Autor: KaM©

~ 28/11/14

Happy Birthday Keith and Thoughful Keith shown in photograph.

Kidrobot x PRODUCT(RED)® x Keith Haring x KaM©

"Keep Watch" Dunny Kidrobot x Mishka

Part of my healing process after my transformation has been collecting and customizing vinyl action figures. Some I reimagine and totally make an entire new creation others I leave alone, it depends.
I seem to fined great pleasure in just having these objects on display in my studio for inspiration and comfort.
The thrill of trying to purchase these small works of art due to their limited release is comparable to big game hunting in the bush.
Once you get your hands on them it is totally up to you weather you want to admire it as it is or, think of something to do with it?

The mascots created by Kidrobot in collaboration with PRODUCT (RED)® x Keith Haring Foundation to fight against AIDS in Africa are great figures to customize and add the face of the artist who’s characters are all over the figure.

The other fantastic looking figure the Dunny is another collaboration by Kidrobot x MISHKA that I mentioned in my last post I went to Brooklyn for to pick up. This one is so cool looking that I promised myself I will not touch it mainly because of the way I acquired it. (Lol)

Autor: KaM©

~ 03/12/13

Dunny (Evolved series) Opening SoHo NYC. Frank Kozik & Karey Maurice

I had the rare opportunity to hit the “City” for not just one event, but two in the same night and in the same neighborhood which I was very familiar with called (SoHo) and lately the event invitations keep pulling me not only to the same section of town but; ironically, the same street.
The first event was a fundraiser to gather money for the annual Halloween Parade which I thought like most people was funded by the Cultural Commission of New York or something and the money was always secured somehow? But the truth of the matter is that the parade is privately funded and is supported by only the people who seem to want to keep the tradition alive!
The event was held at a place called “The Fun House Gallery” which I had never heard of before but was curious to check it out because of the convenience of it’s location to the second event at Kidrobot just around the corner on Prince Street where I knew there was going to be a photo opportunity and a chance to meet some of my designer toy heroes like Huck Gee and Frank Kozik (seen in photo) who were doing a signing of a new Dunny release in conjunction with New York Comic Con this year. I got a chance to speak with Mr. Kozik outside the store and was able to grab a snapshot with him after having him sign one of my purchases that night.

Autor: KaM©

~ 25/03/13

When I say the fun outweighs the effort;I’m not kidding around at all! Last Thursday I mustered up the energy to travel to New York City for an opening I discovered published in Clutter Magazine’s online publication about this exhibition “Pop Surrealism” that featured the most prominent figures of the genre that I know of especially a few in particular namely Colin Christian & wife Sas along with Ray Caesar,Ron English,Camilla D’Errico,Lori Earley,Scott Musgrove and many more.The gallery is located in SoHo on Spring Street so I was very familiar with the area because its where I use to do most of my shopping back in the early 80’s and just simply hang out when most of the galleries were located there before moving to Chelsea about twelve years ago now or longer.
As a routine stop I had to check out an artist [Ron Jones] who has been on the corner of Broadway & Prince Street for just as long as I can remember and he has become part of the landscape as far as I am concerned so I stopped a chatted with him as I usually do and I’m glad I did because he gave me a gift just for making the effort understanding my condition.
After that it was what I thought was going to be a quick in and out visit to Kidrobot down the block to get my fix of their exclusive custom toy/sculptures & apparel before going to the opening at Opera gallery.
Well, the visit turned out to be a beautiful time well spent with the staff who showed my crazy respect and informed me of some of the rereleases that are scheduled to drop sometime soon.
Now on to the gallery after spending more time than I thought I would with the folks at KR and I turn the corner and walk one block only to run into Dylan who I met years ago standing online @ Kidrobot for Dunny creator Tristan Eaton’s then new release in 2008 so I have known him for quite some time and he recognized me right away.
We both entered the gallery together but I headed for the refreshment table right away so I could take the edge off with a glass of red wine. After that I broke out the iPod to start capturing the moment for my archeives and become a part of my work in progress film ” Chealsea Nights” which is really about my adventures visiting art galleries & special events. I only walked around part of the exhibition and found a seat at a table located in the rear of the gallery so I could relax and I was joined by this Haitian American artist named Prushion who vibed up with me emediatly and we began to connect and exchanged information so we could stay in touch. I have a short film clip I made of him to add to my documentation.

KaM© @ Opera gallery. photo ©2013 Dylan Evans

Artists Rick Prol & KaM© at Opera gallery NYC 2013

Popaganda artist Ron English & KaM© at Opera gallery 2013

Long Island Lady with KaM© on New Jersey Transit southbound.

Autor: KaM©

~ 18/10/12

Grand Master 'VooDude' 8" Dunny

New York Comic Con 2012

New York Comic Con 2012

Princess & Mario at NYCC 2012

New York Comic Con 2012

Last weekend the New York Comic Convention was in full effect and I think this event personally trumps halloween by 1000x if you could Imagine that;there were at least one million people who attended this costumed (though optional) extravaganza for the comic book geek,to the action hero worshiper and the designer toy collector. But if I stopped there at that description of the people who attend this annual fun fantasy festival I would be not doing very well in trying to give you a visual of the attendees.

I could write at least two blog pages about my experience but I will try to just give the highlights that I feel worth talking about. When me and my friend Joe Carol entered the Javitz Center we were overwhelmed by the crowd that seemed just to be wandering around without any particular direction they wanted to go in or know where what they were really there for was located,totally unprepared just like we were. I knew that I wanted to go to the section where the custom designer toys were and Joe wanted to see if he could get an exclusive on some comic books.

We came across the first vendors who were promoting new releases Tenacious Toys,Toy Tokyo,Kidrobot,Art Whino,MyPlasticHeart and one new comer a company called Dudebox that I was aware of but didn’t have them on my list to check out.

The Art Whino section of the Con was the most exciting because they came equipped with a Dj booth and a dancing Spider Man that got the crowd going every time a popular track was being played and although I didn’t witness it personally I saw a video of a line dance with your friendly neighborhood Spider Man leading the way.

Although I was not able to capture the custom toy that I wanted for my collection I made out even better because I now have a DIY that was given to me to customize by one of the companies that I mentioned earlier and I couldn’t be any happier to have this opportunity to work with one of these companies in the future.

To sum up the experience of the Con this year I would say it was overwhelming to me because of all the people that you have to navigate through but that is just par for the course when you want to go to one of these massive trade shows.All you can do is grin and bear it and have a specific exhibit of lecture you want to attend and work your way around those schedules to see the rest of the convention after your done with those special interest your into.

Autor: KaM©

~ 13/11/11

Sunday access pass for NY ComicCon 2011.

Well this is an event that have wanted to attend for quite some time, ever since I discovered the world of custom designer toys and, how it relates to one of my long time secret passion of Japanese animation.
The journey to New York is always a challenge but I thought it would be worth the try to go in hope that at worst,being inspired! And at best be totally turned on buy the massive geek squad convention that is more like Halloween ramped up to epic proportions.
I decided to go on Sunday as the access pass indicates because of some previous affair in Philadelphia on Saturday evening which also had its share of performances that were almost just as entertaining as watching all the serious fans of ComicCon dressed up as their favorite character on television striking a pose with precision when asked to be photographed.

I found myself really biting off more that I could chew because I was doing something that my body really wasn’t prepared for by traveling from state to state and so as a result, I arrived the last hour of the last day of the conference with far too much to experience in just one hour.
I was so visually stimulated that I couldn’t even take any pictures myself because I couldn’t focus on one particular thing long enough to make a decision. Also my personal demons were beginning to appear so that compounded the situation and I became paranoid of the thought that somebody might just figure out what I was really thinking about all this eye candy before me.
All I could do was find the section called the “Cultyard” where there were people that I was familiar with, either through my visiting their store for purchases or, running into them at various openings and events. I brought a print from Lou Pimentel when I realized that he had signed one of the prints upside down and offered to resign it personally in watercolor for me. If anyone wants my real opinion about the conference, all I can say is make sure you plan on staying in New York for a day or two to take in all that the ComicCon has to offer because one day just isn’t enough time. And, forget about buying the new releases at the exhibition because they are practically sold out the day after preview on Wednesday or Thursday when the show officially opens.

Autor: KaM©

~ 24/05/11

Toy Street Fair April 22, 2011

I was so glad I got the opportunity to attend this years event which I hope will grow into a large custom toy/sculpture art fair like all the major ones like ArtExpo, Scope,Art Basel,Affordable Art Fair, etc.

The vibe was very welcoming and all the artist were happy to share their knowledge and techniques with me when I asked so that was very rewarding as a whole.

I met some guys that I had heard of before like Lou Pimentel (creator of Cranston Fellow Jr.) Steve Talkowski (creator of  Sketchbot) and the only other African American artist that I know of who does custom toys Lance Lamont aka Mr. Munk all of which were more than happy to pose for a picture with me.

I even gave one of my 4″ custom Munnys to Ron English’s kids as a token of my admiration for them being in their father’s paintings.It probably seemed weird to them that a total stranger would offer such a gift but I believe in putting things out into the universe to see what happens so over all it was a great experience and I can’t wait until next year.

Toy Street Fair 2011 NYC

Toy Street Fair 2011 NYC

Toy Street Fair 2011 NYC

Autor: KaM©

~ 04/12/10

REPLAY – Vinyl Sculpture and the DIY movement.

DIY- toy/sculptures

The question what is art is still on going in the postmodern contemporary world, first brought to our consciousness by Marcel Duchamp with his ready made objects and later expanded on by Andy Warhol who during the third faze his career created with the assistance from his nephew James Warhola, a series of paintings titled “Do it Yourself” that appeared to be large paint by number paintings found in local 5 & 10¢ stores complete with numbers to represent colors to be used in areas indicated by the numerals.

Using consumerism and popular culture as subject matter begs to ask the question, when is a work of art, not a work of art? And, in one of his (Warhol) final series of work before his untimely death in1987 the toy became of interest to him and, by using images of Howdy Doody, tin toy robots, rocket ships and model trains he turned the toy — as subject, into works of high art.

In the mid to late 1990’s in Japan the art form  Anime & Manga as well as designer custom made toys became a global underground movement that Japanese artist Takashi Murakami has utilized in his pop culture work to create large figurative sculpture and paintings with menacing characters instead of happy joyful ones that derive from western culture, the most obvious being Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse which we associate with fantasy and fun but in the United States artist were also responding to the dreamy innocent cartoon images produced by film studios and fusing it with hot rod culture(model car kits), comic books, pinup girls and tattoo body art known today as pop surrealism.

My works of art appear to be toy like in their presentation and technically can be enjoyed as such, but they are much more than that and express an acute awareness of our pleasure of object idolatry and our sense of worship or play but also, a nostalgia for innocence.
They are to be placed on shelves or pedestals where they are to be admired as sculptures subconsciously signaling a desire to be touched, and provoke interaction.

These sculptures continue the dialog about what art is but do not represent or symbolize a finite answer to the high art versus low art argument, instead they address the issue of what is valued in adulthood versus the pure imagination and values in the minds of children.
.What I hope to suggest buy these sculptures is that our desire to interact with objects weather they be made from gold, wood, canvas or vinyl stems from the same place in our subconscious mind that allows us to recognize an object of appreciation when we first encounter it.

Autor: KaM©

~ 07/03/10

Yoshitomo Nara + KaMo drawing on mini Munny.

Yoshitomo Nara +KaMo collaboration

An unexpected collaboration occured between two artists who live on opposite sides of the world from each other and their lives couldn’t be any more contrasting by one artist being born in Japan and the other in Trenton New jersey.

This unlikely work in progress was self-imposed by me during an artist talk last week at Princeton University’s McCormick Hall where the Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara gave a presentation of his work as part of a lecture series titled ‘ Too Cute’ a discussion about the new trends  in Japan, addressing pop culture, consumerism, and the artist role in product developement from fine art, fashion,mass media and designer toys.

I had the pleasure to meet the painter and although he didn’t speak english I managed to give him a 4″ mini Munny by Kidrobot and a black Sharpie pen and he emediately began to draw a character on the surface of the object (shown here) after first giving me a pleasent look of surprize,I think.

I then went home very excited and began to add my own lines to the figure to  complete the character that Mr.Nara was generous enough to start for me. This is still a work in progress and I’ll post the results to this website and my flickr photo page for everyone to see when it is finished.

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