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Tomopop About Town: The Wrong 'Uns at Rotofugi

6:00 PM on 11.15.2010 // Brian Szabelski

Most Tomopop readers know I'm not adverse to traveling for a show opening. But 540 miles round-trip? Was I really that crazy?

Well, maybe in most cases not so, but when the show is at Rotofugi in Chicago and features the art of TADO, sometimes you have to throw sanity out the window and just go. After surviving Indiana and getting stuck in Chicago's rush hour at 3:30 in the afternoon, I arrived at Rotofugi for the opening of The Wrong 'Uns, Mike and Katie's second exhibit at Rotofugi and their first since 2006 at the old tiny Rotofugi store. 

Hit the jump and let's go inside to see what treasures await!

Mike and Katie brought a ton of art with them. So much so, that really, all I can do is kind of give a brief glimpse at all their art. It's all in the gallery, though, so be sure to check it out!

The most plentiful pieces were ones such as these, featuring TADO's many characters (Choop, Herman the cat, Maurice and his troublesome nose and others) painted in acrylics on wood. Even with their small size (the biggest ones were 4" by 4"), they had plenty of vibrancy and . And as you can tell from the photos, many of them were long sold by the time I'd gotten there.

There were also a few very cool 3D papercrafts featuring TADO's Treehugger character. You can kind of see the 3D in the photos, but they look very cool in person. I didn't even realize they were 3D or papercraft until I got up close and looked at them!

Certainly the largest pieces of art there were several Giclee prints TADO had created, each of them one-of-a-kind. The biggest were ones like these, done in comic book-style panels and telling a short story. The one with Herman and the Piggaphunt turned out to be my favorite of the bunch, but they were all excellent. The most expensive of these were the 34" x 26" ones at US$950, but considering the size and the fact they were one-offs, that's not too bad. Especially when I've seen smaller works at higher prices at other shows.

There were also a few other Giclee prints that weren't in comic-style, and they were just as awesome as the bigger prints were. 

But there's also something else you might be interested in, too ...


Say hello to the Piggaphunts. 6" by 5" by 5" resin figures (and quite heavy, to boot), TADO brought the first ten in the series with them to Rotofugi, each being sold at US$120. They are absolutely adorable (and did I mention heavy?), with those big eyes, little feet and tail, and plump little shape. While there have been a lot of handmade pieces by artists this year, the Piggaphunts might very well be at the top, or at least, very close to it.

What's cool about these are that Mike and Katie aren't just doing 50 of them: they're doing each of the 50 in a different color. In other words: the 10 you see in the gallery are the only ones that will be those colors. I quite like the gray and blue ones myself, but didn't pick one up at the show because I sadly already have too many expenses this month. Rotofugi should be posting any of the Piggaphunts that did not sell in the store sometime soon, and the other 40 Piggaphunts are still on the way. We'll let you know when we get more info on either of those ... mostly because I still intend to buy one of the 50 somehow.

There's also a cheaper way to get your Piggaphunt love: Micro-Phunt Charms that only run US$6. Idid pick up one of those because I HAD to have something Piggaphunt-related. Those, too, will be up on Rotofugi's store soon, and we'll let you know as soon as they're available.

They also brought with them a series of 1.5" to 2" hand-painted sculptures featuring Herman and the Pandarazzi. By the time I'd even gotten there, they were all sold out at US$40 a pop, presumably within seconds of Rotofugi's preview list going live. And I can understand why: these little sculptures are absolutely adorable.

But maybe the best part of the whole night was that Mike and Katie had come all the way from the UK for the opening and did a signing session for those in attendance. It was only supposed to be an hour, but perhaps as expected, it went a little bit longer. They spent at least a good two hours signing Love Dunnys, posters and doing drawings for anyone and everyone who stopped by to say hi, which included yours truly. Mike and Katie are very, very cool and just meeting them was probably enough to make my trip worth it. The show also marked the end of their cross-country trip with The Baroness and Carlos Beast of The Beast Brothers, who I also met, along with a few other artists:

[From left to right: Katie of TADO, yours truly, Jeremiah Ketner, James "veggiesomething" Liu and Mike of TADO]

I don't really have to wrap this up by telling you it was the best show I've ever been to. In fact, I'm guessing you could have figured that out by yourself by this point, but it was well worth the hundreds of miles I put on my car to make it to Chicago and then back home.

We'll have another post on Rotofugi itself in the coming days, but if you live anywhere within a reasonable distance of Rotofugi, go see TADO's art and check out the Piggaphunts for yourself. Trust me, if I drove this far and came back with nothing but pure satisfaction, those of you lucky enough to live closer have zero excuse not to go. Be sure to check out the gallery as well for plenty of pictures that didn'tmake it into the post!

[Special thanks to TADO and Kirby and Whitney at Rotofugi for being awesome, and to all the artists/visitors who came to the show!]

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Brian Szabelski, Editor-in-Chief
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Brian Szabelski is Tomopop's Editor-in-Chief, stuck with an ever-growing collection of figures and toys. When he's not posting on Tomopop, he can usually be found working on any number of project... more   |   staff directory

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