When I was a child, I used to cut my Barbie's hair and take a pen to her face like there wasn't a single sheet of paper left in the world. Now the idea of customizing your toys is not only accepted, but also readily accessible—enter "do-it-yourself" toys. So, of course, there's the Build-a-Bear Workshops—but who reading this really wants one of those? And then there are companies like Kidrobot, which offer toys that blend pop culture and urban street trends and are fully customizable . . . before you get it home and take a pen to it. So what if a bunch of really cool artists from around the world were asked to customize designer toys?
Somewhere between art and total geekiness stands "Art Toy Alchemists," opening this Saturday at Artifact Unmundane. This customized-toy art show brings together nearly 50 artists and designers from around the world who have taken their love of toys and their eye for design to the next level. The artists (including Nataka, Jason Kochis, Wavedog, Joe Lacey, Matt Howse, Daniel Camocles Wall and a bunch of others) customized designer vinyl toys and circus punks, with references to music, graffiti and street culture—the things we (and Juxtapoz) have all come to love. The show also features original artwork, and all the works are for sale, so bring your wallet!
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"Art Toy Alchemists" reception at Artifact Unmundane, 1170 N. Richfield Rd., Anaheim, (714) 961-1995; www.artifactunmundane.com. Sat., 6-9 p.m. Exhibit runs through June 17.