Well these last few years i have gotten into the seedy, degenerate world of bootleg-action-figures-as-art. “WTF?” I hear you say… Well… BASICALLY some dudes collage existing action figures, into ‘new’ art-pieces. How? By taking apart existing action figures, casting the necessary ‘parts’ wanted, adding a bit of extra sculpting to the casted parts, then BAM! A new ‘bootleg’ art piece is created. Simple to do, BUT damn hard to do well.
…That’s some. Other’s like Gary Buder AKA 2BitHack use there bootlegs to critique not only general pop culture, but also fine art + the toy scene specifically. PLUS his pieces all have that special something…
I hit up 2BitHack for an ‘Art Talk’ interview, and he agreed; providing i placed his self-written disclaimer up top… So here goes… Disclaimer + interview below:
2BitHack Disclaimer: “I hppe you are ready for horrible grammar run on sentances and misspellings i am no writer sorry.”
(Photo of Mr 2BitHack, Gary Buder – holding his Banksy bootleg – below)
Basics/Getting to Know
Name + D.O.B?
Gary Buder 2/15/1977
City + State in USA you’re Repping?
Chula Vista suburb of San Diego California 5 miles north of Tijuana Mexico.
Describe– a memory from three stages of yr life – ….basically trying to piece together Mr. 2BitHack’s pivotal moments. Toys, games, women, kids, school, college… ANYTHING man.
(Photo below of 2BitHack’s ‘Ready for Action’ bootleg)
*age 10 – pre pubes:
I moved to Rosarito Beach in Mexico from Riverside California. Didnt speak the language and not to manny kids around my age so i spent a lot of time on my own “destroying” toys and just plain destroying things
* age 15 – pube rage:
Was attending a Chatholic highschool “boring” still living in Mexico so i would walk to the trolly ride that to the border walk across into Tj catch a yellow cab(not like the famous nyc yellow cabs) and ride that into rosarito all in all it took me like 3 hrs to get home from school
* age 20 – acceptance of pubes:
I had scored a job at McDs woohooo (loser) but hey free toys and food and I had moved state side and was renting a couch in the living room of a 2bdrm apt for $80 a month(was later kicked out atmidnight with no way to go anywhere, because some bitch had a panic attack i felt like Puck from Real World). Was taking classes at a local junior collage . I dropped out when my car got stolen 2 days before christmas and it took for ever to get to classes. Buses suck…
“Dont quote me on this but…. Fcuk”
Favorite band(s) =
K.M.F.D.M. , N.W.A. , Ice Cube , Ministry , Combichrist , W.A.S.T.E. , Borgore , Flux Pavillion , Jhonny Cash , Atari Teeenage Riot , MC Chris ….mostly anything with a lot of bass or loud thrashing noise
Favorite TV show(s) =
cartoon networks adult swim , Top Gear UK, history channel classic 80s and early 90s cartoons . But im a cheap ass and just cancled my cable and switched to free netflix on the wii (jacked my neighbours code) will be saving about $100 a month
(Picture below of 2BitHack’s ‘Hackaws’ figure)
Favorite sport(s) + teams?
is Kitbashing a sport? no ok then ill have to go with D.T.M.
The Notebook ……pftt right, NO. Original SW trilogy obviously, Blazing saddles, airplane ,akira , Super troopers , Mad max , They Live , RAD. i could go on but most people ar probably bored by now…
Favorite action figure(s) (I’ll allow self promotion)?
stormtroopers , g1joe, optimus prime and megatron
What does your wife/girl/woman/family make of the whole perpetual adolescence/Peter-Pan/man-child aspect of toy art + toy collecting?
my daughter (9years) thinks all the stuff i make is “really cool” my wife (??years) is supportive but i can tell she would like it if i spent less time in my toy dungeon, and my son (18months) just wants to put everything in his mouth or grab and run
(Photo below of 3 x 2BitHack carded pieces)
Specifics on Toys
Do you consider what you are making to be ‘art’, ‘design’, re-hashed crap?
all of the above there is nothing new its all been done before in some form or another but we find new ways to take the same items rearrange them into “something new”
When did you first start making ‘art’ (drawings, sculpture anything)?
around 12 or 13 i started getting what i would call Sid from Toy Story kinda artsy fartsy. senior year of highschool i had my first 3 periods were elective art classes in the same room one of which i was the teachers aide/only student in the made up class just so i could do whatever the fuck i wanted.
Any formal art training? Or pivotal moment/influence?
nothing major or what i would call “formal”
Why + when did you start making toys?
Why out of need to mess around with something i have a hard time not taking everything apart to see how it works or to change it and make to better / customize it
(Photo below of 2BitHack’s ‘Banksy Bootleg’)
Why the name “2BitHack”?
so when somebody oes “What 2 bit HACK made this? if i did i can say “Over here…”
do shit that makes you happy and if it makes others happy thats a bonus and if it pays for itself then WIN WIN WIN
Favorite medium to make toys outta?
anything i can get my hands on
Kit Bashing Vs. Self Sculpting – who/what wins? And why?
both but i belive that good atists create and great artists steal. if you can sculpt a whole figure then awesome. if you cant then get it by any means necessary. there is an art to being able to put together parts that didnt belong together seamlessly.
Favorite ‘other’ toy artist?
Killer Bootlegs and Man or Monster really dig what they are bringing to the table in new ideas of packaging and figure assembly
Do you think the market for art toys only exists due to the internet? (as it spurs desire with all the posts and updates on blogs, + it allows easy sales to the whole world by creeps from their bedrooms, to other creeps bedrooms)
No not the only reason it exists but there is no way it would be this big without it.
Worst aspect of the online nature of toy sales?
Slow sales, having to constantly pimp yourself out allover social media untill you start getting a large devoted following
Best aspect of the online market for toys?
availability and low overhead
Is the rise of ‘art’ toys an illustration of the changing nature of ‘art’? OR just a bunch of nerds with too much $$$ and time?
a bit of both people are starting to see the art in everyday design and well kaws toys go for $1000nds for dollars so well there ya go
Is glow in the dark all that’s its made-out-to-be? OR is clear way better?
I like both but clear glow in the dark kills all
2BitHack Art Questions
Describe the method of making a ‘2BitHack’ piece? (dot point all o.k.)
(Photo of 2BitHack’s work-desk below)
random idea pops into my head
i start looking for parts to make it happen
put it all together sculpt where needed
mold and cast and paint as needed
i cant really photo shop so con a friend into puting what i want together how i want it
put it up online or in a show and hope it is well recieved
Morgan ‘Sucklord’ Phillips called yr ‘Are we Fucking Done Yet’ piece the highlight of the ‘Clutter (In)Action Figure Show’ Thoughts on the praise? And how did you execute the piece?
(Photo below of ‘Are we Fucking Done Yet’ by 2BitHack)
I thought it was kinda cool being a blip on someone more well know that myselfs’ radar It all came about because it seemed like every other day there was a new “this is cool because its frozen in carbonite” thing. so i figured well shit lets fcuking over do it into its grave, and call out some other over done shit while we are at it.
As opposed to ‘parodying’ the general toy world like The Sucklord, you seem to have more of a focus on ‘ripping’ on the pop art scene in general – Yr ‘Banksy’ piece, yr many ‘Kaws’ inspired pieces – what was the inspiration for these?
(Photo below of 2BitHack’s ‘Suckaws’ peg)
KMFDM song “rip the system” the SUCKaws came about because i wanted to see a gay empire suckpeg but SL wasnt makin them so i did then thought well lets throw kaws in the mix here as it works into the “suckers” . and banksy ones were just hey itd be cool if i did this since no one else at the time had also, who doesnt want to get a C&D letter from a man in a monkey mask?
Your ‘Star Wars’ x ‘Homies’ mash up line ‘The Mi Empire Loca Ese’ is damn brilliant. How + why did you decide to make that?
(Photo below of 2BitHack’s ‘Star Wars’ x ‘Homies’ mash-up)
I had seen every coupleing of star wars with something or another but the west coast style ghetto culture. and i thought well what if star wars was filmed in east la.
Thanks to your new piece, ‘Empire on a Budget’ I now can’t get the image of the Empire existing as some sort of Cheech n Chong stoner-buddy group. Damn you. How did you come up with that piece?
(Photo below of 2BitHack’s ‘Empire on a Budget’ piece)
@trampt on twitter posted a shot of another artists full size vw bus with at-at legs saying someone find this guy and get him to make a toy version. well shit i goy an econoline and at-at legs lets do a quick kitbash and throw a pic on instargam for shits and giggles and people started liking the hell out of it so i thought i better make this thing and set out on figureing out how i was gonna mold and cast it in one piece
Thoughts on ‘Disney’ buying Lucasfilm? Basically, can anyone ‘rape’ Star Wars more than George Lucas anyhow?
make cool toys and dont fcuk it up or you will hear me bitch.
Why all the hype surrounding Bobba Fett anyhow? (In yr opinion)
its the mystique of the faceless bad ass. i associate more with the faceless cogs in the grand machine the lowly stormtrooper
What are your thoughts on The Sucklord? (I ask as he is kinda the ‘ur’ toy-bootlegger)
UR? OG? well someone had to do it first. He seems to be a pretty cool guy but he is hard to read as in which part is SL bravado and which part is Morgan. but i obviously dont know him all that well we have spoken briefly on a handful of occasions
(Photo below of 2BitHack’s ‘TransGay’ pegs)
Any collaborations on the horizon?
Killer Bootlegs is workin with some parts i sent him but nothing really other than that, but im open hit me up people 2bitHACK@cox.net
Any major projects you want to hype man?