Art Whore

Art Talk 2 – Lance aka ‘Renone’ of ‘Renone Labs’ and ‘Rotten’

Lance aka ‘Renone’ of ‘Renone Labs’ is an American artist, designer, publisher, scene builder, and all round creative mensch who work has been blowing our minds for many years now. His most recent project is ‘Rotten’ – a gang of artists and misfits who create toys, stickers, art, apparel and more.

(Photo below of a toy version of Lance’s well known Minion character)

Seeing as though it has been over four years since we last spoke with Lance, we decided to hit him up for a catch up interview to get up to speed with all his current projects, work with ‘Rotten’, thoughts on the art toy game, his artistic process, and a whole lot more.

Read it all, below….

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Article – Five Artists Involved in Nerviswrek’s ‘Drone Blank’ Custom Show Discuss Their Submissions

The ‘Drone Blank’ is a platform art toy designed and made by American artist Gabriel Rivas aka Nerviswrek. Platform toys are unpainted toys, usually of a simple design, which are made for the purpose of being customised – kinda like a blank canvas in toy form. What separates Nervis’ ‘Drone Blanks’ from other well known mass manufactured platform toys such as the ‘Dunny’ from Kid Robot is that the ‘Done Blanks’ are all hand made by Nervis himself. This places the Drone Blank in a wholly unique position as the only hand-made platform toy! A true testament to Nervis DIY ethic, sense of community, and craftsmanship!

To celebrate the release of the ‘Drone Blank’ Nervis has put together an amazing and diverse group show featuring 46 artists from all over the world. The artists involved all got a chance to custom a ‘Drone Blank’, and present it to the world – with the show happening at this years Designer Con from November 16th to the 18th. It is not to be missed!

In honor of Nervis’ achievement, and the upcoming show, we thought it would be nice to ask five of the artists who are involved in the show to present their works and also answer some questions about their art, their approach to customising the ‘Drone Blanks’, their thoughts on art toys generally, and some general gossip about Nervis!

So without further ado, read our interview with, and check the ‘Drone Blank’ customs from artists Jason Forbes, Under Our Knives, Dr Barbados, Tasha Zimich, and Nasty Neil of ‘Wasted Talent’, below…

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Culture Talk – Doug aka ‘Dougo’ aka ‘Iron Fist Doug’ of the Cave Clan

Draining aka The-Art-of-Exploring-Stormwater-Drains is a unique Australian past time – made possible due to the fact that unlike most countries in the world, Australia separates its fresh-water drains from its sewerage. This means the adventurous can explore the drains of Australia without worrying about walking through the usual human excrement found in most drains. You may instead, however, have to contend with eels, spiders, birds, bats and the occasional drain-dwelling vagrant.

Whilst humans have been exploring the drains of Australia ever since they were first created, there is one group that turned an erstwhile hobby into a vibrant culture – that group is the Cave Clan. Founded on January 26th 1986 by three young gentlemen by the names of Dougo, Sloth and Woody.

Soon after their founding, The Cave Clan promptly began activities that would come to define the group, win it many fans, media exposure, and the occasional blood enemy. Activities such as holding drain based concerts and parties, hosting large multi-people exploring sessions, spreading their pro-drain exploring propaganda around public places, tricking the Australian media into covering a fake story about gangs of deviant-social-security-receiving-drain-dwelling-menaces, publishing zines, creating art, and engaging in general larrikinism.

Whilst Sloth and Woody have stayed virtually anonymous – ole Dougo quickly positioned himself as a major scene builder and spokesman for the Cave Clan, a position he still holds today; even if he has stepped back a bit lately due to family commitments.

Listing his pivotal life moments, Dougo mentions a childhood filled with dream-time escapes to dark subterranean hidden worlds, the death of his father when Doug was only 7, and the relaxed attitude of his mother when it came to Doug’s childhood exploring.

Commenting on the beginnings of the Cave Clan, Dougo states:

Google will tell you that the Cave Clan was started on Australia Day, 1986 although co-founder Woody was a socialist so we called it Invasion Day. I had been trying to start a group that explores mines, caves and drains for a couple of years with no luck.

It wasn’t until I’d finished school and I decided to catch up with Woody. ‘Want to go up the darkies?’ I asked, referring to the small pipe that ran under Northcote Tech.

Woody got his torch and a marker AND his brother Sloth. ‘This is my brother Sloth’ and off we went.

The idea of the Clan was always to form a social circle of people that had one main thing in common – exploring the underground. I had always thought that with more members we would also gain local knowledge (hey, there was no Google in 1986).

(Some recent Cave Clan propaganda below)

With Dougo having stepped back from front-line service in the Cave Clan, but importantly still actively exploring and creating – now is the perfect time to get to know the history of the Cave Clan, and gain some insights into one of the men behind the most unique Australian sub-cultures ever, by reading the Culture Talk below…

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The Infamous Dogfight Discusses His ‘Toasted Posters’ Project

The Infamous Dogfight is a well loved member of the Australian graffiti, design, and street art scenes – being a pivotal member of KALIS’s RAW Crew, a founder of ‘Spilt Milk‘, and a highly regarded artist, collaborator and scene builder in his own right.

Dogfight’s latest project is ‘Toasted Posters’ – a brand focused on releasing high-end, limited edition fine art prints from graffiti writers from all over the world; with a special interest in the Australian scene.

(Photo below of the man behind ‘Toasted Posters’, The Infamous Dogfight)

‘Toasted Posters’ debut release is the Block Rockers alphabet screen print which was released earlier this month. The Block Rockers print is hand produced by the talented craftsmen at ‘Aisle 6ix’ in Sydney; and features 26 artists each contributing a letter of the alphabet.

The result is an eye popping and beautiful work that combines many seemingly disparate aesthetics, into a perfect whole – Voltron style.

With ‘Toasted Posters’ recently launched, and their debut print currently available, get to know all about the project by reading our interview with Dogfight below…

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 Art Talk – Aaron Lewin aka Berzerkaroth


Aaron Lewin aka Berzerkaroth is an Australian artist who first caught our attention thanks to the beautifully gross art he provided for the ‘Goredon’ soft-vinyl designer toy from American artist ‘Nate The Milkman’. After seeing that image as part of our daily social media toy-explore, we immediately jumped onto Aaron’s Instagram and had our eyes and brain melted. Here was art that mixed the 1990’s ‘gross’ aesthetic, with the vibe of the 1960’s underground comics scene, and body horror – we have never seen anything quite like it!

Interestingly, and with a touch of sadness, Aaron posits the tragic deaths of his mother and grandfather, and an associated mental breakdown as the catalysts that led to him deciding to go hard in the art game a few years ago. With Aaron elaborating,

My Mum had died at the age of 49 when I was 33. My Grandad died a couple of months later.

That was the Catalyst for my whole Artistic Development. I quit my Job. Had a complete mental breakdown and my only escape was drawing. I had an Instagram account with some random shit on it and started putting my art up…

I slowly gained confidence and posted more and more art. Cultivating some great friendships, amazing opportunities and great followers along the way.

(Some art by Aaron below)

With Aaron constantly pushing hard in the art game, having recently finished his tattoo apprenticeship, and with more collaborations with Nate the Milkman in the works – now is the perfect time to get to know the man and his art, by reading the Art Talk interview below…

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Toy Talk – Luke Jones of the ‘Australian Toys’ Instagram and Upcoming Book

Prior to the 1980’s each of the World’s developed nations had their own local manufacturing industries – a result of globally implemented protectionist economic policy. Under these policies countries imposed high tariffs and other duties on foreign imported goods, preventing imports from being financially viable, so as to protect their local manufacturers. Toys are but one example of this.

Here in Australia, there is one man who has made it his mission to preserve and share the history of Australian manufactured toys – that man is Mr. Luke Jones from Adelaide, in the Australian state of South Australia.

Luke is an architect by trade, and has been collecting Australian toys since childhood; with Luke commenting:

I’ve been collecting antique toys for about 35 years and have always had an ambition to have a carefully structured collection which I could be proud of as a long term achievement.

Recently, Luke began sharing parts of his collection with his ‘Australian Toys’ Instagram, the Instagram page has been so well received that Luke will be publishing a book showcasing his Australian toy collection in 2019 via Melbourne Books.

(Photo below of part of Luke’s collection – a JA Holden Ampol Rally Car & John Sands Garage; 1956 – 1958 and early 1940s.)

With Luke’s book soon to be published, now is the perfect time to get to know about the origins of the Australian toy industry by reading our Toy Talk with Mr. ‘Australian Toys’ himself, Luke Jones below…

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Article – Catch up with Thai street artist Headache Stencil

Governments constantly play a cat and mouse game with their dissenters: let them get away with too much, and the government looks weak, but if you apply too much pressure and start jailing political dissenters then the government looks authoritarian, and risks losing the faith of it’s people. Currently this delicate balance is being played out between the ruling Government of the South East Asian nation of Thailand, and a rising number of political dissenters and agitators – such as Thai street artist Headache Stencil.

The current Military government of Thailand gained power in 2014 in a coup d’etat under the leadership of General Prayut Chan-o-cha. The Military allegedly took power in 2014 to restore stability, eradicate corruption and lead Thailand into an eventual Democratic election. However 4 years have passed since the Government took power and no free-election has occurred.

In the meantime Thai news has been filling with tales of generals on Government salaries – Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan in this instance – flaunting million-dollar watch collections, prominent successful Thai businessman Premchai Karnasuta seemingly avoiding criminal prosecution for poaching, an allegedly increasingly volatile and eccentric leader, and other tales of purported graft, malaise and political corruption.

(Some politically charged street art from Headache below – depicting Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan)

Headache has been commenting on these issues with his politically charged street art since the Military took hold in 2014.

Initially being ignored by the Government, Headache found himself under the harsh glare of the State and the Thai Police when an image he made – see it above – lampooning Prawit Wongsuwan and the watch-saga went viral early in 2018. Almost immediately after sharing his finished work to his social media; Headache found himself running from the Police, holing up in safe houses for nights on end, and hearing about his public art being whitewashed or buffed.

However, Headache’s art had already been, and was continuing to be photographed and shared thousands of times by the Thai people on social media – turning Headache into a local hero. Indeed, it was his newfound status as a heroic supporter of the Thai people, and the love they have for Headache, that led to the Police and authorities eventually backing away from pursuing him. After all – Headache is now a Thai celebrity, and jailing a noted celebrity would cause many ripples that are unwanted by an increasingly nervous Government.

Importantly, Headache recently began teaching street art and stencil classes in Thailand, to encourage the locals to get involved in political street art. He has also just announced two upcoming 2018 shows in Australia – the first in Sydney at Joe’s Table from the 21st to 24th of October, and the second is in Melbourne at Blackcat Gallery from the 24th of October to the 4th of November.

So in order to get reacquainted with everything Headache (we first interviewed him back in 2016) and to find out more about his upcoming Australian shows, we asked him some questions about them all. Read the answers, and get up to date with Headache, and the situation in Thailand by reading the article, below…

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Art Talk – The Angry Beast – Artist, Toy Maker and Member of the ‘ToyRonto’ Art Crew

The Angry Beast is the nomme de guerre of a Canadian artist and toy maker who works anonymously to keep their identity hidden from stalkers, haters, copyright lawyers, US Drones and the potential wrath of their conservative employer. Over the last few years The Angry Beast has gained a reputation internationally for his unique resin creations – which are made through a combination of kit-bashing, hand sculpting and the occasional use of fabrics.

The Angry Beast creates whole worlds, character biographies and narratives for his resin creations; setting him apart from the majority of the resin scene who mainly concentrate on pop-culture mash-ups. Additionally, his creations are expertly crafted, unique and just plain fun!

Describing his own troys, and creative process The Angry Beast states,

It’s a combination of many skills actually, packaging design, mold making, resin work, illustration, writing, sculpting, photography, doll clothes tailoring, and a little bit of marketing.

(Photo below of a gang of clear resin figures from The Angry Beast)

Aside from their own internationally loved work, The Angry Beast is also a member of the recently created ‘ToyRonto’ art-crew, a group of like-minded artists, all living in Canada, who work in the medium of designer toys.

We have already interviewed some members of the ToyRonto crew, Lab Monkey Number 9, and Naomi Knaff; and will be interviewing other members of the crew over the next few months – so stay tuned for those!

But, at this very moment, get to know another of the members of the ‘ToyRonto’ crew – the ever talented, and surprisingly not at all aggressive artist, The Angry Beast – by reading their Art Talk Interview below…

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Article – Shane Bugbee Discusses His Two Portland Art Shows Happening on October 5th 2018

Shane Bugbee is an American artist, writer, publisher, curator, journalist, salesman, manager and even for a brief period – successful soda-pop purveyor. Indeed in our varied and sordid career running Art Whore, Shane is the closest we have come to finding the very aspect of ART encompassed in human form. Art is Shane, and Shane is art.

Recently Shane moved to Oregon and has quickly embedded himself in the State’s culture scene, and this coming October 5th in the city of Portland, Oregon; Shane is holding two art shows – to present to the world the fruits of his many years of artistic creation, celebrate his upcoming 50th birthday, and to showcase to the world artists that Shane loves. Pure ego, meets selfless scene builder. Pure Shane. Pure ART.

(The flyers for both of Shane’s October 5th shows, below)

Both shows will feature art, music, performances, food and other surprises and are not to be missed experiences! To that end we sat down with Shane to find out more about the upcoming shows, as well as to discuss what Shane loves about the great city of Portland, and the local artists he admires.

Read it all below…

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Culture Talk – Steph Dumais aka ‘Raisinlove’ of ‘Bloody Gore Comix’

Steph Dumais is a Canadian artist and publisher working under the name ‘Raisinlove’ who also runs the internationally loved indie publishing company ‘Bloody Gore Comix’.  Indeed’BGC’ was originally set up to publish Steph’s own creations after some frustrating experiences having his work under the control of other companies.

Almost immediately after delving into the world of self publishing Steph gained renown for his talents as an artist, collaborator and publisher. As a result Steph and ‘BGC’ soon came to start showcasing the works of a sleuth of artists from all over the globe – and continues to do so today.

Uniquely, Steph himself has been working in the comics scene since he was a child – from winning a nation-wide Canadian illustration contest for an anti-drug campaign when at elementary school, to having his debut zine Raisinlove Comix being sold out of a local head-shop at 15. A clear example of the changes we all undertake through childhood and teen years if ever there was one!

Remembering those pivotal moments, Steph states:

As I finished elementary school, I won a national illustration contest for an anti-drug campaign (ironic considering later years) and got a brief moment of celebrity.

I had even created some crime fighting comics for my own pleasure around this time…

The first time I set foot in an actual comic shop, as opposed to the corner store where I usually bought them, I discovered an entire world of alternative comics. That’s when I discovered Faust and Deadworld comics along with other “dark” books.

I started creating a zine called Raisinlove Comix, which I sold from my locker in high school. It featured typical angst teen scato humour. This expanded into buying blank white tshirts onto which I would draw severed heads or the school burning down and I would sell these to fellow students as well.

Of course, at this point my parents were not as impressed lol.

But I enjoyed this and one day I attended my first comic book convention. This is where I met Mike Foster from Ottawa’s first headshop Crosstown Traffic. He noticed my tshirt and we got to talking about my zine. He offered to sell them in his shop and this was a major event for me, which got me into drawing comics ALL THE TIME.

(Some art by Steph below)

With Steph constantly on the art grind both for his self driven creations and in his status as a publisher now is the perfect time to get to know the man himself by reading the interview below…

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