For the last couple of weeks, we had been leading up to the Cavey's American Cousins pop-up gallery, the first show for the brand in the United States. Each of the handmade plushes in the show were designed by American artists (hence the title). In this first part of the coverage, we will look at six of the twelve artists represented: 64colors, Angry Woebots, Beast Brothers, Camilla D'Errico, Chris Ryniak, and DrilOne.
Well? What are you waiting for? Read on to see what these amazing plushes looked like up close.
Cavey's American Cousins took place at an English pub called the Cat and Fiddle, situated on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. The gallery area was in a room adjacent to the main pub space.
When I entered the gallery, I was greeted by Holly Stanway, Cavey creator and all around cool artist. Up on a big screen hanging a corner of the room directly across from the entrance was the eBay page where each of the displayed plushes were listed for bidding. It was constantly scrolling and updating. I found myself watching it, mesmerized at several instances.
Each of the custom Cavey plushes was accompanied by a special print done by the artist (which are available for purchase). The one done by 64colors struck as cute if not a little barbaric, turning the Cavey into a headdress for a tribal ritual.
I liked the layered look to details like the facial features on the tribes person as well as the "64colors" logo on the back of the head. There was also embroidery seen the person's exposed belly button. I was impressed to see how well this top-heavy-looking custom balanced.
Angry Woebots' print reminded me a bit of graffiti, especially the bottom signature part. The black and white color scheme certainly suits a panda very well, don't you think?
This Cavey's translation from print to plush impressed me with its accuracy. The face really looked just the poster and they even included the signature on the back! The bigger black portions, such as the the panda's eye patches, were made of fabric (felt from the looks of things) while the finer details were embroidered.
The Beast Brothers' print seemed to me to be a mix of Day of the Dead imagery and avant-garde art. It brought to mind those sugar skulls you see in Latino markets around that time. The eyes (both in the skull and the talk bubble) were a tad disconcerting.
The plush was simple but I think captured the feel of the Beast Brothers' print quite nicely. It looked like an amalgam of a Cavey and a cow skull which I think is what they were going for.
The print made by Camilla D'Errico had a mild anime flavor to it. The character had big eyes, blue hair, and a small mouth. It was so pretty. I loved the dandelion seeds in the background (perhaps a nod to her comic, Tanpopo?). They enhanced the overall feel of the print but without detracting from the main image.
Camilla's may very well have been the most detailed of the Cavey custom plushes. I suppose it is no wonder when you look at the print it is based on. I loved the eyes on this one, with the little spirals in the pupils. I also thought the use of Camilla's characters, Kuro and Shiro, for the "ears" of the Cavey was an inventive touch. This one was just so beautiful. It really came out great.
Chris Ryniak's print was done up in watercolors and looked just like his Cavey, right down to the big, pitiful eyes and the way the feet are positioned. I evoked the same strange curiosity that I find in much of his other works.
This Cavey is, in fact, not a plush at all. It is a sculpture with a plush cover (so it can be disguised as a Cavey). I didn't manage to snap any shots of the little fellow wearing his suit but I bet it looks darling. This and the 64colors one are the only toys that have legs.
DrilOne's print didn't so much highlight their Cavey as put it into a fake military poster. It was imaginative and fit well with the theme of the actual plush.
Here is DrilOne's rather war-torn Cavey. The poor vet is missing an ear and still has his little plush-sized gas mask. His outfit looked like it was a kind of faux leather which went well with the brown material used for its actual body. It could have been my imagination but it appeared as though the fabric used might have have rougher than the other plushes. I, of course, didn't handle it or any of the other works so I can't be sure.
This isn't the end of the party! We still have the other six artists and their work to cover. Stay tuned for part two of Tomopop's coverage of Cavey's American Cousins!
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