GR2: Yukinori Dehara Preview

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GR2: Yukinori Dehara Nendo Pro Wrestling Preview Images

Here’s the official flyer.

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GR2: June 29th – July 24th Yukinori Dehara: Nendo Pro Wrestling


Yukinori Dehara: Nendo Pro Wrestling

June 29 – July 24th, 2013
Reception: Saturday, June 29th 2013 – 6:30-10pm

GR2 2062 Sawtelle Blvd.Los Angeles, CA 90025

(310) 445-9276

Giant Robot is proud to host Nendo Pro Wrestling – clay sculptures by Yukinori Dehara. Wrestling culture has been popular throughout contemporary Japanese popular culture. Alongside of Mexico and the US, the wrestling scene has continued alongside and overlapping with Sentai (Power Rangers) shows. Superheroes have traversed in each others genres. We’ll be sure to feature clay sculptures and more from Yukinori Dehara! As with his previous exhibitions, Dehara’s work is often containing deep ideologies of our culture presented through his colorful characters.

Dehara will be here in person!

Giant Robot was born as a Los Angeles-based magazine about Asian, Asian-American, and new hybrid culture in 1994, but has evolved into a full-service pop culture provider with a shop and gallery in Los Angeles, as well as an online equivalent.

An opening reception for the artists will take place from 6:30 – 10:00 pm on Saturday, June 29th, 2013. For more information about Yukinori Dehara or Giant Robot, please contact:

Eric Nakamura
Giant Robot Owner
[email protected]
(310) 445-9276


GR2: Uglycon Artist Plushes

More on the way!

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Barry McGee Visits the White House

Not just Barry McGee, that’s Len Higa and Shizu Saldamando.

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JANM: Portraiture Now May 11-Sept 22, 2013

Smithsonian Exhibition travels to JANM. It’s an amazing feat for the Smithsonian to have an Asian American exhibition like this, but for it to travel? Even better. See it while you can in LA.

“Portraiture Now displays the diversity of contemporary Asian American identity through the groundbreaking work of seven visual artists—CYJO, Zhang Chun Hong, Hye Yeon Nam, Shizu Saldamando, Roger Shimomura, Satomi Shirai, and Tam Tran.” (JANM – Portraiture Now)

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GR Interview: Artist J*Ryu

GR: Welcome to Southern California. Tell me about your new place and your working studio set up situation?

Thank you very much. I currently live in the South Bay with some fellow artists including Aaron “Angry Woebots” Martin and Mathew Curran, a fellow North Carolinian that made the cross country move with me.  We have a converted loft in the back of our house where we can paint, cast resin and sculpt amongst other things, all to facilitate the different types of projects that each of us might be working on. It’s definitely a change from being in NC where I was essentially working in an artistic vacuum on my own – being amidst many artists that inspire me has definitely given me a new-found appreciation for being able to share techniques, offer and receive critiques and have constant constructive feedback.

GR: This exhibition features pieces that are fully sculpted and not customized. Is this a new direction? Will you still customize?

For this particular show I wanted to focus more on form, rather than the narrative or emotive qualities in many of my previous pieces. Although I am often recognized for being a part of the toy customizing scene, I prefer to create original sculptures for shows where I have the opportunity to showcase a larger body of work, work that is not contingent upon modifying or customizing existing base platforms.  That said, I will still participate in customizing shows depending on if I feel that I can create a piece that is fundamentally sound in theme and execution.

GR: Animals are an obvious theme this time out, yet it’s not limited by mammals, insects or reptiles, yet there’s a common bond between them. Can you talk about how you chose which animals to depict? 

I chose to call this body of work “Biorgasmica”, a study of what it would be like to meld various elements of baroque stylings, the human face and the shape of various creatures together.  When determining what animals I wanted to involve, it mostly came down to animals where I could envision how those disparate elements could more easily coalesce into one cohesive creature.  The final roster of creatures tended to be those that were organically armored, whether with a carapace or scales, or those that had body shapes that would lend themselves to the incorporation of faces or detailing.


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GR2: Strange Symbiosis Reception and Review – Photos II

Strange Symbiosis exhibition featured J*Ryu’s first exhibition as an LA resident. His work is entirely sculpted, ushering in a new look and thought process of his own career. He’s not abandoning customizing, but his ability to sculpt from “scratch” is demonstrated in this “black” themed animal kingdom. (Photos are currently up at the Gallery Store) Scott Tolleson brought is range of customized figures that include both his and other works all bearing his magical color palate and argyle style. His Bittacrittas resins are cute. He includes two painting works as well. Leecifer, from Oakland brought his spirited self and his wife down for a visit. Super jovial at all times, this man is a pleasure to have around. His line of works include his hand casted Gammy’s and his PickleBabies. It’s great to know that he uses traditional paints on the vinyl figures. It’s about preparation! Lastly, Aaron Brown in his first four person exhibition at GR2 brought his imagination to customizing Gargamel figures. He adds his succulent and natural look and mesmerized viewers.

Many photos were taken by friends, bloggers and fans, and we’ll hope to see them online.


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Giant Robot Goods: 5.8.13 – Strange Symbiosis artwork now available online

giant robot

gallery clothing in print accessories toys stationery artists functional


Cute, devious, and argyle-clad plush monsters.


Sets of five buttons featuring neat designs by artist Scott Tolleson.


Package includes four matchstick books of candles.


The Linsanity continues.


Los Angeles artist Gary Baseman’s creations in wallet form.


Hang the little cat, monkey, or dog on a cup filled with water and watch the plant grow from its bag!

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GR2: Strange Symbiosis Images – Leecifer!

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GR2: Iwai Shunji – Reception Photos Set 1

A fun reception filled with friends, family and fans. From the beginning to the end, a stream of folks walked through his exhibition, Out of the Films. Yes Iwai Shunji has a following that includes a legion of adoring fans, many who are Chinese. It turns out Love Letter and Hana & Alice are two films that were huge hits there. Also see the work of Iwai Shunji available now at: (GR – Iwai Shunji) We’ll post more photos soon.

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Art Review: Gary Baseman – The Door is Always Open – Skirball

Gary Baseman

The Door is Always Open

Did you ever question Gary Baseman’s work? Were his strokes too thick? Are the characters too cartoonish? Did the absence of a fine controlled line thwart your viewpoint of his basic schooling? Is he too low brow? Was Cranium too commercial? Was it his multiple Emmy Awards? Did he talk your ear off?

After a slow walk through of The Door is Always Open at the Skirball, you’ll see a comprehensive execution of a concept that revolves around family, history and memories. Regardless of what you might have thought about him or his work, from here, like Monopoly, go back to Go. Gary Baseman is a legend.

Yes, his strokes are thick and perhaps at this point, quite economical. His volume of works filling in the self designed wallpapered rooms depicting his childhood home is captivating. It’s a barrage that seems like it’ll never end. Yes, they can become a blur, but that’s ok. Whether you gravitate towards one piece or you remember a few things about a few pieces, seeing the span of work tells his story. The details in the execution of the exhibition layout are equally amazing.

The characters are cartoonish. It’s his vision and life’s work. This isn’t him jumping on a bandwagon. He’s helped create it. He’s been working and developing his style for a generation. Most of us surround ourselves with toys from at best, the last few decades. Many of us collect from the last few years. Baseman displays his collection of toys and statues from the 1930s. A completely different reference point.

Controlled fine lines? It’s there, and he can do it. In fact, some pieces from 1982 show that he has or had technique and patience. Would he say, “That was so 1982.” Perhaps he’s over it.

Low brow is just a title, and whether if he is or isn’t shouldn’t matter at this point. If he is, and he illustrates a deep upbringing through an exhibition, then it’s low brow at it’s finest. He prefers “Pop Surrealism”.

Cranium? Perhaps it is commercial, but it’s a vehicle that most artists wouldn’t deny. It’s a fun game and it brings families and friends together, which fits into his overall art theme. The same can be said with his multiple Emmy award winning project, Teacher’s Pet – and you can’t shoot photos in that room.

Yes, Baseman has talked my ear off and with that, is his passion. His latest conversation was about his Jewish family history, Concentration Camps and it’s relationship to this exhibition at the Skirball.

Photo set by Dean Gojobori


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Souzou: Japanese Outsider Art

The Wall Street Journal’s Japan Realtime reports on an interesting show at London’s Wellcome Collection, “Souzou: Outsider Art from Japan”. The venue is intriguing – a home for the collection of a wealthy pharmaceutical magnate who traveled the world and collected art and objects related to medicine – an interesting residence for this particular group show.

The artists are all disabled beneficiaries of Japan’s social welfare program, Haretari Kumottari, which is engaged in the arts as a means of self-expression for marginalized members of society. Over 300 pieces represent the work of “disabled” people with no formal training in the arts, but an uncanny knack for creativity and imaginative expression. They look like a pretty capable bunch to me.

The show is being blogged about, featured in international media, and perhaps raises the aesthetic bar for some people who thought Outsider Art was just scrap metal welded into zoo animals by people who’d never been to a zoo. Now it’s also Gundam mecha made out of shiny twist ties! It definitely looks like a show worth checking out if you’re in London. It runs through June 30th, with free guided tours, and a ton of educational events tied in.

We’re not really fans of the label “Outsider Art”, but it’s not going away as long as it still appeals to the mainstream art market that relies heavily on “Insider” art existing.  The WSJ article seems a bit behind the times on the rise of the Japanese art world beyond what makes it to MoMA, but they still get kudos for spotlighting Souzou.

The work being shared from this show brought me back to 2006, when Eric was invited to be a juror for Takashi Murakami’s GESAI art festival. GESAI has been pivotal in opening up the Japanese art world to more than just the juggernauts, and creating access and exposure for its “outsiders”.  I was lucky enough to go in 2008, and was completely blown away by the wall to wall magic. Every other exhibit booth had work that felt completely original, earnest and gallery-worthy. It felt like home, and we all came back from that trip re-energized and enthusiastic about what supporting artists meant to all of us.

I love when art can do that, when it can create (sometimes inadvertently) a world that you feel a part of. I’m not sure the Souzou artists would want us all up in their heads, but I thank them for sharing these pieces which brought me back to a very special experience, and a reminder of how powerful creative expression can be.




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10 Second – MOBI MOVI – Open Call! Due April 25th


Calling out to video artists for 10 second mobile movies
to be projected in the penthouse level of LoftSEVEN
in conjunction with the downtown rooftop performance of

featuring Sarah Elgart Kevin Kerslake + special guests
[an intimate evening with the WILCO lead guitarist and friends]


Media and video artists are invited to send videos for a one-night showing of video projections in conjunction with the special performance of Nels Cline + Urban Air “Elevated.”

Selected video footage will be projected onto the walls of LoftSEVEN’s penthouse. The aim is to create an interface connecting viewers and artists, integrating the visual arts and the cityscape. The theme should loosely relate to the “Elevated” performance which will commence on the rooftop during the highlight of the evening. In general, there are no restrictions concerning the theme.

ELIGIBILITY: Any author can participate with a maximum of 3 videos of 10 seconds each. Videos submitted must belong to the category of video art. Innovative and experimental work is encouraged. They should have been created in the last two years, come in as a single-channel version and be copyright controlled by the artist.

CURATED BY: Eric Nakamura + Kio Griffith

EVENT DATE. April 28, 2013 6pm-11pm.

All submissions should include:

• Artist name
• Title of video
• statement (optional)
• contact information

ARTWORK. Videos should be submitted by file transfer to [email protected] The length of videos must be edited to 10 seconds. Resolution should be set to HD and at a minimum of 720px preferred. Works can be submitted as video only.

A short biography of the artist is welcomed as well as a brief description of the submitted video also to [email protected] Please attach 3 still images of the work in jpg with a resolution of not less than 800x600px.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE. Entries must be received by April 25, 2013 . Submissions that arrive after the deadline will not be included. Please do not send files larger than 50MB.

The participant’s submission for entry automatically agrees with the terms of the present call. It also certifies that the entrant is the legal owner of the work.

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Takashi Murakami Arhat Exhibition

It’s nice to see a special preview for art. Takashi Murakami blows his art up to epic spaces with his exhibition Arhat. It’s frankly fit for a museum and it’s pretty much at one at Blum and Poe Gallery in Culver City. Three spacious rooms, plus, it’s a great place to see art. Preview night is private and the big opening is saturday. I wish I could go to that too. The work is impressive and massive, even his small pieces are epic. For those of you who are curious, the subject matter includes some Kaikai and Kiki and the self portrait of Murakami, himself, but the newer pieces include what look like yokai, religious imagery, and plenty of influence from Japanese great of the past, Ito Jakuchu.

That’s a portrait of myself with Luke Chueh. The pieces we’re reflected in is a beautiful metallic sculpture. Yes it has KAWS like eyes. Maybe they really are KAWS eyes, but it would be funny if it’s Murakami doing a KAWS, right back at him. 


Thrash Lab X Giant Robot Profiles Video : Edwin Ushiro



It was fun shooting Edwin Ushiro who is equally entertaining. His interview reveals that his recent work is about small regrets from his past. From Elementary, middle and high school in Hawaii. He makes it perfect in his art. The interview took place at his home studio in Culver City.

Thanks to Thrash Lab for this fourth video of the six. Thanks to Goh Nakamura for the music, Anthony Batt for the vision, Ashton Kutcher for the channel and tripod, Thrash Lab staff for the Post, Tony Sugano for the extra hand and Edwin for the interview.


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GR2: Facial Recognition Reception

Facial Recognition Reception at GR2 was a fun night with an array of visitors.

That’s Matt Furie, Jeremy Fish, and Albert Reyes.

James Kochalka and frequent GR2 visitor, Flora.

Mark Todd and Crew, many are his students!

more pics below.


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GR2: Facial Recognition Install

While James Kochalka in from Burlington, Vermont was installing art, a young woman walked in and said, “this looks familiar” When she found out James Kochalka did American Elf, she got excited and said she was a fan. Fans get hugs. That’s Mari Naomi who happened to be there too. It was a cute moment. Minutes later, the young woman’s mom came and said, “we have to go!”

That’s Matt Furie and Aiyana Udesen measuring out the wall. Mark Todd… where are you?!

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GR2: 4/13/13 – 5-8pm Bartholomew Punchyface Release Party – Luke Chueh and Scott Tolleson


Bartholomew Punchyface Release Party – Luke Chueh and Scott Tolleson

Sat April 13, 2013 5-8pm


The official release of the first plush collaboration between artists Luke Chueh and Scott Tolleson. 

Bartholomew Punchyface is the collaborative efforts of artists Luke Chueh and Scott Tolleson. Chueh’s cynical narratives combined with Tolleson’s nerd chic culminate into a character anyone who’s had a hard time in school can empathize with.

The most pathetic nerd bear you’ll ever meet. Buy him to bully him or save him from the other bullies out there.

This limited edition plush bear produced by 3DRetro is making its debut at Giant Robot 2.

Giant Robot will also have a set of two prints edition of 50 by Luke Chueh and Scott Tolleson.


Sat April 13, 2013 5-8pm

2062 Sawtelle Boulevard
Los Angeles CA 90025


eric (at)
310 445.9276




GR2: Crystal Visits GR2

Having a video maker come by and shoot stuff during the day means short videos. I didn’t know this one was happening but I’m always down to help people know more about art. Thanks, DJ Tony Jr.


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