Art Whore

Art Talk – James M. Wisniewski aka Jim Wiz

James M. Wisniewski aka Jim Wiz is a self described life-long working artist hailing from America who has been active in the industry for over 40 years now – beginning in the early 1970’s. In that time Jim has worked in advertising, cartooning, story-board art and greeting cards – all whilst also being involved in the comic book industry. There he has also worked for years as a character model for his friend and fellow artist Mr. Alex Ross, worked on his own works and also notably on the ‘Ghostbusters’ comic series.

Indeed Jim is living proof that you can not only make a living as a full time commercial artist but also have a whole lot of fun along the way.

Now after a lifetime of primarily working for others, Jim has recently semi-retired and is finally spending time working on his many personal projects – stating:

I’VE N-E-V-E-R,  E-V-E-R, BEEN SO CAPABLE AND CREATIVE. THINGS I WANTED TO DO YEARS AGO, I NOW DO.

I’M WRITING, ILLUSTRATING MY OWN STORIES FOR THE FIRST TIME, AND AM BUSY WITH LESSER PAYING WORK, BUT IT’S ENOUGH BETWEEN MY WIFE’S THING AND ME.

I AM DRUNK ON CREATIVE HAPPINESS, AND PRODUCING ART.

I’M 66, AND JUST GETTING STARTED ALL OVER AGAIN. I MEAN HOW COOL IS THAT?

Jim, it is very cool indeed sir! Inspiring even.

Now we must here admit that we discovered Jim’s art thanks to our ego… we were trawling the internet one day for mentions of well… ourselves, and stumbled upon a brilliant cartoon depiction of an ‘Art Whore’. It was vibrant, sexy, funny and unique. We fell in love immediately. From there we found Jim on Facebook, sent a friend request and promptly begged for an interview. Which he was happy enough to oblige us with!

(The very art that made us fall in love with Jim, below)

So without further ado, read all about the life of Mr Wiz in his illuminating, funny and very insightful Art Talk Interview, below…

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The Soft Vinyl Toy Commandments

As many of you dear readers know, we at Art Whore love toys of all type, indeed we view them as one of the highest forms of art. And like most art, toys can be split up into genres – with the obvious ones being related to intent of creation and sale method. They are: (i) mass market toys (like your ‘GI Joe’ and ‘He Man’), (ii) your bootlegs and knockoffs (think of the off brand toys you often find in cheap discount shops), and (iii) art-toys. Whilst the first two categories are self explanatory, art toys are a bit more elusive. And to that regard we previously published – in 2016 – a primer guide to art toys titled ‘What Exactly Are Art Toys And How Can We Critique Them?‘. Take the time know to read it to get up to speed if you need!

…Well one form of toy that straddles all three of the above categories are Soft Vinyl Toys – a type of toy genre relating purely to medium, in this case toys made up of soft vinyl plastic. For an example, think of your classic duck-style-bath-toy.

Soft vinyl can, is and has been used to make mass market toys, bootlegs / knock-offs and art toys all over the globe since the 1950’s or so – when plastic replaced metal as the go-to-medium for toys. Indeed soft vinyl is a very versatile medium and can be used on a craft or industrial scale. However, it usually needs a factory of some sort and is thus less DIY than some other toy mediums like resin.

Well one thing we have noticed as a result of being part of the global toy scene for a few years now is that people are really invested in Soft Vinyl Toys. People have very strong, emotional feelings about them. This can and has led to everything from fights, to marriages, loss of friendship, anger, fractured communities, theft, dubious commercial practices, travel, bankruptcy, tattoos, conventions, bootlegging and a whole lot more!

Well, one major issue we have noticed is a lack of a central text for the Soft Vinyl Toy Scene. A document or treatise outlining how to approach Soft Vinyl Toys. Some rules. A guide. Something we can all refer to as a starting point.

Hell, Judeo-Christianity has the 10 Commandments, so why not some Soft Vinyl Toy Commandments too? People are invested in Soft Vinyl Toys as seriously as any religious fanatic – so why not treat them both the same? Namely with some line-in-the-sand / pick-a-side / binary-opposite rules. Some… ** drum roll ** Commandments!

So, for edification, humor, to generate discussion and force our subjective opinion upon the masses, we thought it best to write down once and for all the The Soft Vinyl Toy Commandments….

Consider them sent straight from God. Or in this case, Godzilla.

Read them, below:

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Art Talk – Edwin aka Redwine

Edwin aka Redwine is an Australian artist, vandal and all round mensch currently living in Britain. Edwin creates beautiful and thought provoking art in all mediums – graffiti, painting, sculpture, video, mixed media, collage and illustration.

We got hipped to Edwin’s work thanks to fellow Australian artist Elliot of ‘Loser Unit‘ – and boy are we thankful. As Edwin is a damn talented lad. He has the ability to paint like a Renaissance master, draw like a Cubist, sculpt like a toy-maker and vandal like a doped up 16 year old child prodigy.

(Graff by Edwin below)

With his graffiti Edwin is fighting back against the current intricate and beautiful mural trend – stating:

The new wave of commercially successful painters that, without knowing, are playing a willing (or naively innocent) role in the devastation of the impact of public art.

Commercial muralism is so easily confused with corporate advertising and to have people complicit in the latter does not help.

To this end Edwin refuses to make his public works beautiful – leaving this instead to his private works. Instead his graffiti is bold, simple, in your face, huge and impactful: letters and graphics placed eloquently in their urban surroundings. Commenting on gentrification, class and the street art scene with a wit that references the acidic humour of Quentin Crisp and a style that harks back to the French Situationists. It is amazing and wholly unique.

Get to know all about Edwin and his art by reading his Art Talk Interview below, you will be glad you did…

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Art Talk – RJ Williams aka ‘A Nameless Force’ aka ‘The Massive’

RJ Williams aka ‘A Nameless Force’ (previously ‘The Massive’) is an Australian artist, designer and vandal well known in the Australian scene thanks to his eye catching graphics and ability to get his art up all over Sydney, Australia and even the Globe. Indeed, there is something magical about RJ’s work – all symbols and bright colours. As if all his art is just part of a never ending spell or sigil. To what end – only RJ knows.

(Photo below of RJ’s huge tag done by the famous Hollywood sign – check top left of photo)

Born in 1980 RJ grew up on hip hop, toys, body-boarding and surfing – activities that continue to influence his art today.

And currently? With RJ having recently re-branded to ‘A Nameless Force’ and pushing his art hard all round the globe – 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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Art Talk – Lewis Morley Jnr aka Lewis P Morley

Lewis Morley Jnr aka Lewis P Morley is an Australian artist, sculptor, toy maker, special effects craftsman, prop maker and all round creative wizard. We were introduced to Lewis thanks to our mutual acquaintance Mike McGann – as Mike, Lewis and fellow artist Marilyn Pride all lived together during the 1970’s in a self described sci-fi fan commune in Sydney, Australia.

Lewis was born in 1957 and is part of the first generation of children to grow up with television. He importantly also came of age in the 1960s, a time of sci fi, space exploration, pioneering work in stop motion / visual effects, comic books and toys – all inspirations that guide Lewis’ creative work to this very day. With Lewis himself stating:

The wonder of childhood is still an important motivator for my work, on some level almost all the stuff I do is satisfying my inner child!

Importantly, both of Lewis’ parents were also artists. His father being celebrated photographer Lewis Morley Snr, and his mother Patricia an accomplished illustrator. So it is safe to say that Lewis was destined by the gods themselves to lead a creative life! And indeed he has done just that.

(A photo of some of Lewis’ recent miniature art below)

Lewis has only just retired from his professional work, and is still making art of all types at a furious pace. So we decided to ask Lewis some questions about his many years in the Australian film industry, his father, Mike McGann, toys, comics, fandom, giant robots, and much much more.

Read it all, in the Art Talk Interview, below…

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Culture Talk – Richard Masters aka Richard Wolstencroft

Richard Wolstencroft aka Richard Masters is an Australian director, nightclub owner, writer and general provocateur. In his mid twenties during the 1990’s Richard gained Nationwide fame as a result of establishing the ‘Hellfire Club’ – The first S+M / kink based club in Australia, which Richard ran from 1993 to 2003. Originally beginning in Melbourne, and later expanding into other territories such as Sydney.

Importantly, with ‘Hellfire’ Richard not only championed outsider sexuality and fashion, but also music – with musicians as diverse as Ollie Olsen, Andrew Till and David Thrussell regularly DJing their experimental electronica at the night.

(Richard and friend photographed back in the ‘Hellfire Club’ days)

Whilst gaining fame, fortune and infamy with the ‘Hellfire Club’, Richard also found himself establishing the ‘Melbourne Underground Film Festival’ aka ‘MUFF’ in the year 2000. This was established – like ‘Hellfire’ – out of Richard’s sheer will, desire and need.

In this instance as a result of one of Richard’s own films not being selected for the more mainstream ‘Melbourne International Film Festival’. Instead of complaining and wallowing, he started his own competing festival to champion underground and emerging film of all type – gaining international recognition for himself and many of the directors and creatives involved in the festival over the years since.

Indeed, Richard is so committed to artistic freedom that he is willing to put his own safety and freedom on the line – which he did in 2010 by screening the banned in Australia film ‘LA Zombie’ from infamous American director Bruce La Bruce. An act which resulted in his very home being raided by police.

And as Richard has been at the forefront of Culture creation, he has also been making movies himself since his teen-age years. Most notably ‘Pearls Before Swine’ (1999), ‘The Beautiful and Damned’ (2008) and the documentary ‘The Last Days of of Joe Blow’ (2012).

However, Richard’s lifetime of personal creation and support for the arts was recently challenged when he made an objectively shocking, scientifically wrong and simply hurtful Facebook comment on the eve of the successful Gay Marriage campaign in Australia late last year. As a result of his comments, Richard became a pariah – seized upon by the social-media-outrage-mob-mentality. He was attacked – both verbally and psychically. A series of events which culminated with Richard publicly resigning from his role at ‘MUFF’ and making a very sincere and open apology.

Richard was seemingly another tragic case of a man’s worth being judged on a single instance of public discourse, as opposed to a lifetime of action.

BUT Richard, like the zombies in the aforementioned Bruce La Bruce film, just can’t be stopped – as he admits in his Culture Talk below, he has re-taken the reigns of ‘MUFF’ and has many other projects on the boil.

Read all about them and much more, below…

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Art Talk – Steve Carter and Antoinette Rydyr of ‘S.C.A.R’

Steve Carter and Antoinette Rydyr are the immensely talented duo behind ‘S.C.A.R’. As individuals, and collaborators Steve and Antoinette are Gods in the Australian underground art scene. Working as artists, publishers, musicians, script writers and editors for over 30 years now!

Their art is full of the vibes of greats such as Basil Wolverton, Ray Harryhausen and George A. Romero to name a few. Look wise it’s beautifully detailed, unique, surreal often tongue in cheek, occasionally soft, but often brutal. Very very brutal.

We love it and so does the international comic community!

… sadly, however, many of the Australian populace and the very Government itself have had, and continue to have, knee jerk reactions to the art of S.C.A.R; resulting in their work being banned, ostracized and also vilified by the press, members of the moral outrage brigade and general wowsers. Also for over 30 years now!

Indeed, S.C.A.R are makers of creations that can objectively be called polarizing – an attribute attributable to the most important artists since time immemorial.

(Some art by S.C.A.R below)

So get to know all about both the origins of the Australian outsider comics scene, and the works of S.C.A.R by reading their eye opening interview, below…

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Art Talk – Mr. Chance Priest of ‘Victory Comics’

Chance Priest is an American artist, sculptor and man of many talents – weapons making, hunting, snake wrangling, antique dealing, law enforcement and a whole lot more.

We fell in love with Chance’s art immediately upon discovering it early last year. We had never seen anything like it: 1960’s bold comic colours, cubist lines, storyboard-style movement, photo-realistic details and a unique singular vision.

As a result, we fell hard into the glorious rabbit hole of Chance’s creations. It’s a whole world – comics, paintings, sculptures and toys. All interconnected yet able to stand on their own.

Simply put? It’s pure art and we have never seen anything else like it before.

As Chance himself states, art for him is an unrelenting force. Something that he can’t ignore and must pursue above all else:

I’m a 100% dedicated to my vision. And to be honest if nobody buys it I really don’t care; I’m at total peace with what I consider success. I will build on “my world” till the day I die, if my art sells then wonderful because I really want to share it. If it doesn’t sell then if will not hinder me in any way except for the time it takes to make end meet.

(Photo below of Chance and some of his art)

With Mr. Priest our new favourite living artist, and the fact that the man himself is always working on something new to blow the mind of his fans – you must, we repeat MUST get hip to the man right now, by reading his Art Talk Interview below…

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Art Talk – Matthew Bourne

Matthew Bourne is an Australian artist making major waves in the local scene with beautiful works that combine surf culture, graffiti, hot rod art and comic style graphics; into a wholly unique and eye catching style.

Works that are full of intricate detail, imbued with a sense of movement and usually topped off with vibrant colour. Oh so much colour!

Whilst a lifelong creative, it was only recently, in his late 30’s and 40’s that Matt decided to venture hard into the art game, with the man himself stating

As I headed into my late 30’s I was missing my creativity a lot. I had a stable job, so for me to kick start my art felt right..but it would have to be after hours, late night hustle….fuck it, don’t care, I need to do this, now.

(Art below by Matthew)

With ole Matt quickly on his way to becoming a major presence in the global scene, and currently a featured artist in the 2018 ‘Bein Narly‘ festival here in Australia – 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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Art Whore Toy Review: Garglmon sofubi – Oil Slick version – from Blurble

  • Produced By = ‘Blurble’ (USA)
  • Figure Name = Garglmon
  • Edition Size = 10
  • Material = Japanese Soft Vinyl
  • Country of Production = Japan
  • Height = 18 cm (head to feet)
  • Depth =  4.5 cm (bottom to belly)
  • Width =  7 cm (shoulder to shoulder)
  • No of Parts = 4 (body / torso + two arms + head)
  • Released = February 2018
  • Sculpt Debut = August 2014 (Digital) +  August 2015 (Physical)
  • Release Price = $US 100
  • Genre = Soft Vinyl Art Toy

Read the full review and pics after the jump…

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