Giant Robot 2 Robots Artist: Eleanor Davis

Eleanor Davis is a cartoonist and illustrator who’s work has appeared in Fantagraphics compilations, graphic novels for kids, and at art exhibitions. Her work is the type of work that you can see, be puzzled by, and then come to enjoy. We’ve hosted in her numerous exhibitions, and her pieces in the Robots exhibition are monochromatic portraits of Robot people.



Below is this beautiful print with girls and horses! It’s available here. Davis has two websites where you can see his works. Doing-fine and her blog is here.

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Giant Robot 2 Robots Artist: Kelly Tunstall

Bay area artist, Kelly Tunstall is a long time Giant Robot supporter and submitted a great and large piece for the Robots exhibition called Beethoven. It’s still available. She attended California College of the Arts and continues to show often.




She currently has an exhibition at 111 Minna Gallery called Secret State is now available online. The exhibition is set to travel to Palm Springs later this year.
facebook page and twitter page.

Her collaboration work with Ferris Plock can be seen here:

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Giant Robot 2 Robots Artist: Susie Ghahremani


Susie Ghahremani is a long time artist and supporter of Giant Robot. Some of her most popular work are tiny pieces that gave her major hand problems in the past, but the results are a beautiful array of birds, trees, and other spirited images. It’s hard to show just one or two Susie Ghahremani artworks since her career is expanding into products by Chronicle Books including a travel journal called Bon Voyage. You can see her works and more at her site


Susie is also working on a picture book which will be out in 2013, illustrations in the Bust – Diy Guide to Life book, and has an exhibition currently in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A strange link is her affinity for the game of Sudoku. She even illustrates the covers of Sudoku books. Take a look! Her works continue to balance cute, technical, and colorful.

We also feature some of Susie’s goods at our own site like the print above. Please take a look and watch for Susie Ghahremani at Giant Robot 2 in 2012.

If you haven’t had enough of Susie just from the above, there’s even more:

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Giant Robot 2 Robots Artist: Ryan Jacob Smith

Ryan Jacob Smith has a painting style that’s developed into work that’s recognizable as his. He’s an Art Center graduate who now resides in Portland and is learning the art of tattooing. He’s recently tattooed a lemon as practice.


His art piece below My CPU’s a Neronet Processor: A Learning Computer.
This piece is available here.


Always a supporter of GR, Smith will be releasing some new prints and t-shirts for the holidays. Ryan Jacob Smith prints. Meanwhile take a look at more of his work here:

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David Henry Hwang Explains His Chinglish Play


David Henry Hwang, like him or not is a busy Asian American theater guy. His play Chinglish is on Broadway and will gain a lot of notoriety. We posted a video preview, but more importantly, his words in this blog post make the play more interesting than many Asian American tales. (blogswsj – David Henry Hwang)



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GR2 Undercurrents Martin Hsu and Lawrence Yang Photo Set

That’s Martin Hsu and Lawrence Yang and they’re perfectly centered where both of their works show in the background. They’re at the opening of Undercurrents at GR2 on Saturday October 15th. Great times and fun photos of the Bay Area artists.



Giant Robot 2 Robots Artist: Jesse Fillingham


Giant Robot 2 is always proud to host Jesse Fillingham. Alongside Jeni Yang, we exhibited Fillingham at Giant Robot 2 in 2011. Here’s some images. Below is the piece from Robots which was happily sold.



When’s he not doing his own work, he teams up with his artist friend, James Chong and together they are Never Press. We hosted that at CineFamily as part of a Sion Sono screening. Take a look at their goods! Fillingham will also be exhibiting at MOHS in Denmark.





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Giant Robot 2 Robots Artist Junko Mizuno


Junko Mizuno is a manga artist from Japan now living in San Francisco. We interviewed her for Giant Robot magazine years ago at a time when she hardly spoke English. Now, she speaks English without issues and is busy exploring her comics and artwork. For GR2′s Robots exhibition, we have original pages of a special Japanese edition of Pure Trance. They’re all drawn by hand with some Zipatone added for shading. We have some of these pages available here.




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Ai Weiwei Most Influential Artist in the World

Art Review magazine put Ai Weiwei as the most influential artist in the world. That makes sense, doesn’t it? Without knowing a thing about his work, or seeing what it looks like, his name nearly became household this year. In the BBC’s news, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said: “China has many artists who have sufficient ability. We feel that a selection that is based purely on a political bias and perspective has violated the objectives of the magazine.” That makes sense right? Influential art doesn’t have to signify anything that has to do with art itself. It’s the ability to use art as well. Although what Ai Weiwei will do with this influence or power? Or what it really means to have it, or not have it, we’ll see. But for now, he’s already in high demand as an artist anywhere and feels like he has no power at all. Does he? Probably not, but he can land an art show anywhere. That’s power enough. (BBC – Ai Weiwei)


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Lawrence Yang Preview Images

Lawrence Yang’s preview images are below. He and Martin Hsu’s art will be at Giant Robot 2 this weekend. Read more about him here.


More Images below! (more…)

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Giant Robot 2 Robots Artist: Buff Monster

We’ve known Buff Monster for years and have happily witnessed his rise of local street art wheat paster to now an internationally known artist. We proudly hosted his art show The Monster Within in 2010, and you can see the photos here.

Just on friday, he released his Cat Plush that you see below. The eyes are pink which is his trademark color. You can easily see this edition of 200 pieces on his own website.

We have our own plush by Buff Monster also at the $18 rate that was made in edition of 200. You can see it below and get it here among a few other Buff Monster goods.

The video below is from Tara McPherson’s Cotton Candy Factory in Brooklyn. There’s a few customs still available.

Buff Monster and Jeremyville from Tara McPherson on Vimeo.

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Giant Robot Interview: Artist Martin Hsu


Martin Hsu is friendly with an effervescent positive energy. It’s easy to just write something like that, but when you first meet him and see his eyes get genuinely wide, you’ll know it’s all true. Originally from Taiwan, Hsu lived in Southern California and went to school in Orange County. He’s nearly a 100% LA native, but his recent move to San Francisco provides a new energy into his art work. A slight hike from the Mission District, he lives in the Castro area in a Victorian home.

An impromptu visit yielded a charming house, great artwork everywhere (no, not all by him), and many “cool things”. He made me some tea and showed me his studio area where I got to see his works in progress for Undercurrents, which is beginning at Giant Robot 2 in just under two weeks.


GR: How did you get started in art?

MH: As far as I can recall, I started in art on drawing on the back of torn out calendar pages at my grandparents’ house in Taiwan in elementary school. They took care of my cousins and I when our parents were at work. Those are still the most treasured times of my life.

After graduating from CSUF with a degree in animation, I worked professionally as a character designer for a number of years before diving into the world of putting paint on wood. It’s an incredible feeling turning personal ideas into original pieces people enjoy, and I couldn’t do it without the support from my amazing friends and family.

GR: What’s your day time life like? Can you mix that with your art work?

MH: This year I’ve decided to take a break from my professional work and focus on personal art for a bit. For the first time in my life, I’m on my own working for myself and I feel extremely blessed being able to do so. My days nowadays are consisted of lots of walking around in San Francisco. When I’m not sketching or painting, I enjoy lying down on the grass at Dolores Park in between coffee shops watching and listening to people around me. It’s something quite special and I hope to do it for a while.

Some pieces from his upcoming exhibition Undercurrents




Scared Artless

“People at Art openings are pretentious and weird.” I hear variations of this comment all the time.

Either of these scenarios sound familiar? Standing next to a person by the bathroom for 10 minutes and not even saying a polite hello—much less making an introduction? Or even more awkward; standing next to someone whom you know is your Facebook friend, but neither of you are acknowledging this fact or each other? I rarely have this interaction with the same person when we meet in a restaurant, nightclub or even at Trader Joe’s—so what gives? Uncomfortable moments like these have got me thinking. Is it the other person? Is it me? Or could it possibly be something to do with the art venue?

The weird thing is, I go to museums often and I really do love art. I have become somewhat obsessed with artists such as, Brancusi, Dali, Hokusai, Freud, and Murakami to name a few. Yes, these are Masters, I know, I know, and yes, their works are mainstream and accessible, so it is not a surprise really that I like them.

Yet nothing has been more nerve wracking at times for me, than going to an art show. You know, one of those great gatherings, with great up and coming artists, like the ones that you get invited to on Facebook?  Something like those. So I’ll get an invite to one of these shows; and having the predisposition of a hermit crab–but knowing that I could use a little of that stuff called “culture”—I’ll throw my Repettos on and venture out from under my rock.

Here’s a dirty little secret…

Sometimes, I don’t even know who the artist is, or even the art medium that I am about to show up for. Quelle Horreur!! I know, I know, but off I’ll go. Then, it will happen that I get there and I have the awkward experience of either showing up way too early; or, being stood up by certain friends of mine (who will remain nameless ahem, but know who they are.)

As soon as those neon, dark-under-eye-circle-magnifying lights hit me—so do the butterflies. This calls for activities such as; typing a faux text on my blackberry; pretending to have to use the bathroom–and then often—just walking out. It’s kind of involuntary. Halfway down the street, after pulling out of my ‘karma good’ parking spot, I will have a little “what is my problem?” moment. If I do end up staying, I am tense, awkward and hyper-aware of every movement of my body. I’m not really enjoying the art because my brain is slowly melting as I try to adjust to being in the space correctly.

New people. Art. Florescent lights. People. Noises. Music. Nowhere to sit. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to sit. How am I standing? Ahh.

Then, after settling into the place, I will often find myself taking on another behavior, even more bizarre. I will float around, avoiding eye contact, ignoring certain individuals and having light, safe conversations, mostly avoiding the topic of the event that I showed up for in the first place; the Art.

“I saw you but didn’t get a chance to talk to you.”

Huh? We are in a space about the size of a matchbox and are having a hard time connecting?

What a peculiar condition.

Well, having the propensity towards a hypochondriacal nature, I do sometimes self-diagnose. After much self-examination, I have come up with a little theory. What clinically might be known as a form of social anxiety might possibly have a more accurate diagnosis. I have taken the liberty of naming this condition:

Art Show Syndrome—or—with all due respect, A.S.S. I see A.S.S as a benign condition that affects a person’s attitude, posture, and vernacular in various degrees while participating in the Art Scene. A couple of weeks ago, I started an unqualified behavioral study of myself and other art goers surrounding me. Though I have not done enough research to argue what the causes or cures are for everyone, I think I have found a few simple facts that are at the root of my own A.S.S behavior. I will share.

Maybe some of you can relate…



Two Days Left to See the Art of Jake Lee

You have two days to see this exhibition by Jake Lee. Who is this man? There’s a book about him and his works are amazing. Most of us are obsessed with young artists, but what about the ones that came before. Jake Lee may have passed away in 1991, but his watercolors are amazing. He’s grouped as a “California painter”. Who’d do that to the younger artists of today who are born or bred in California? Barry McGee, California Painter? It doesn’t work right. The works in this show are from a SF Bay Chinese restaurant. Sounds like some sleuthing went on to find these pieces. (CHSA – Jake Lee)


Here’s a couple of examples of Jake Lee’s work.

Here’s a site to see more. (Californiawatercolor – Jake Lee)

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Giant Robot Video – Mari Inukai



Mari Inukai is an artist living in Los Angeles. This is a short message about what she thinks about signings. It was shot during Comic Con 2011.


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Giant Robot Artist Interview – Sean Chao


Sean Chao is an Art Center graduate, who lives and works in Los Angeles but is originally from Taiwan. When I first saw his works, I was captivated by the exciting and energetic sculptures which sparked everyone’s imagination. What’s going on in there? Who are these tiny people? The pieces are microcosms of his world, yet at the same time, they’re mini installations. Each piece takes you inside much like a terrarium, except you get to dream up a story with his “tiny people”. You’ll get lost in his sometimes-fairytale and oftentimes-idyllic pieces. His works are exciting and pure, and along with Inés Estrada, we’re excited to have him in Blithe Spirits at Giant Robot 2. Sean Chao; Preview Images from Blithe Spirits.


GR: Can you talk a little about the world you create? Where is it coming from and why does it have it’s forms?
SC: The world and the characters I created are base on my imagination, and they are inspired and influenced by interesting things and fun experiences that happen around me. The mischievous characters were sort of created accidentally, It all started from a random drawing I did on a photograph. Eventually I developed the character from the drawing and I made a sculpture out of it.

GR: Is there  general narrative?
SC: There is always a narrative idea behind each piece of my works. I usually tell a story of daily experiences and show snapshots of regular interactions. These situations may be looked at as simple everyday occurrences, but I expand on those and add more to make it an interesting narrative Sometimes the story can get a little bizarre and psychedelic, but most of the works are simple ideas that people can relate to.


GR: There seems to be a color palate for them. Why those colors?
SC: The colors just came natural to me. Most of my works are involved with humor and warm feelings, so the color choices I make are directly related to those emotions.


GR: Did your instructors at Art Center have an opinion on what you were making?
SC: When I was in the school my instructors encouraged me to create works with my own sense of style. I believe their teaching completely changed my attitude and respect to art. Without the education, I will most likely still be working in an art related field, but I might not be creating art of my own.

GR: How did you get into sculpting?

SC: I was always very fascinated with sculpting since I was very young. We used to have a sandbox at my elementary school, and I would stay after classes and play in the sand until sunset every day. I remember once I was building a small city in the sand box. I went next to the pond to scoop water for the river in my sand city, and all of a sudden I fell right into the pond. I also tripped over the roots of a banyan tree. I was soaked, but it didn’t stop me from what I had planned. I took some water back and continued with my sand sculpting. After sunset I walked home soaking wet, my mom was totally freaked out to see her son drenching wet and covered in sand. I was sick for a whole week but I was so eager to go back to school to see my sand city, but of course it was gone when I got back.

When I was in college I took an anatomy class, the assignment was to build a human anatomic model with wire armature and Sculpey clay. Anatomy was interesting, but I was more excited to work with clay again. It reminded me of how passionate I was with sculpting when I was young. Eventually I started to use clay as a new material to create my work.

GR: Is any of your art work aspects from Taiwan? Whether it’s subject matter, or technique.

SC: I believe the culture from Taiwan definitely influenced the direction of my work. Taiwan is a very beautiful and unique place. When the Portuguese first sailed to Taiwan in the 15th century, they gave it the name, Formosa, which means “beautiful” in Portuguese. Taiwan is a place that conjoins various cultures from China, Japan and local natives. After the Chinese civil war, people originating from every region of China settled in Taiwan. Similar to as if a large group of people from each state decide to permanently move to Hawaii. The capital, Taipei also had a great number of businessman from all over the world. Growing up in the diverse city of Taipei was a great experience. I was able to meet people from different parts of the world and to learn how to combine different types of ideas harmoniously. Taiwanese people are generally very warm and friendly. I always tell my friends if they travel to Taiwan they don’t need a tour guide to show them places, because the locals are always eager to show visitors the best parts of the town. In my work, I also attempt to express the same kind of warmth and friendliness, to welcome people into the world I create. Beside the natural beauty of the island, Taiwan was also highly industrialized during the 70s to the 90s. Growing up watching the city gradually develop into a modernized society, it was enlightening to see how nature and machinery coexist. I create a world that is occupied with the both extremes of Taiwan, combining the organic elements that nurtured its people and the technological creations that made the people proud. My favorites being automobiles and bikes. While some argue that the two sides contradict one another, I believe both play a vital role in our society as they portray a harmonious world.

GR: What kinds of comments have you received about your work? Any particular stories?

SC: My favorite comment and reaction I got from people are a simple smile and a good laugh from my quirky humor. There are many people that saw my work and ask if I’ve made any stop motion animation in the past. The answer is no, but I would love to try in the future.

GR: Where does it go from here? Larger pieces? Are you making more 2d art?
SC: I would definitely work on larger scale of works with a concept that embraced a more profound idea. I found making sculptures irresistible, but I do paintings, drawing and make prints as well.


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Giant Robot Artist Interview – Inés Estrada


Inés Estrada is an artist from Mexico City. Her works display a strong array of color and at the same time possesses a gentleness. She has an indie spirit and with her boyfriend Roi, they are Cafe Con Leche. They make zines and keep their creative energies flowing. She’s part of Blithe Spirits exhibition at Giant Robot 2 along with Sean Chao (who’s words will make it here soon). We’re proud to publish a few words with her and hope you get to know her, a bit about Mexico City, and her works a little better. Hopefully one day soon, we’ll get to meet her. Cafe Con Leche and Inés Estrada. Preview Images from Blithe Spirits.


GR: Not a lot of people in the US know about artists from Mexico, can you talk about your area and what your art community is like?

IE: I live in Mexico City, which is the biggest city in the world. It is pretty crazy and there’s always something happening. Though there are people doing things here, it mostly seems like we’re all isolated. The art scene in Mexico is really spread out, so I have a couple of artist friends, but most of them live in other states. That’s what I would consider my art community… and all my friends from other countries.
I think most of the popular Mexican artists in Mexico do graffiti or come from a street art background. That’s what’s really hip here right now, and there’s a bunch of people doing really great stuff in the medium. I’m more of an indoor, small notebook cartoonist kind of person, so I don’t interact with them as much as I’d like.

GR: Is there an audience for comics and zines in Mexico?

IE: Comics in Mexico are mostly seen as “garbage literature”, like something only kids or construction workers should read. So, that said, there isn’t a really big audience for alternative comics, and I think it’s mostly because people don’t know they even exist. Manga has become quite popular in the last decade, but there’s still a lot left for other kind of comics to be introduced.


GR: Your work often has people in them, can you talk about what they are doing?

IE: I think most of the people I draw are usually in a state of contemplation. I don’t usually know beforehand what do I want to paint or if I want to say something with it, so this reply is something I came up with right now. You could see them doing something different and it could be possible too.


GR: It seems like there’s some fantasy, but can you explain a bit about the people who sit and often have things growing from them?

IE: Most of the characters I draw, I picture them in my head as little gods. This little gods all exist by themselves in their own universe and at the same time are all related and live intertwined. The things growing could be sprouting out of their own will or just symbols of their good aura manifesting. Again I think it’s up to the viewer to decide…

GR: Can you talk about Cafe Con Leche?

IE: Café con Leche is mostly just me and my boyfriend Roi having fun. We usually start our ideas by joking about things we’d like to do and sometimes those jokes eventually come down to things that we really end up doing. We also have an online store, which is the more business side of our project.


GR: It looks like you’re into crafts as part of your art, can you talk about that as well?

IE: I like the idea of exploring different mediums, so crafts are a part of that. I also like that crafts are a mix in between an art piece and a mass produced object, so you can have a big production and at the same time it will still be a hand made item.


GR: Are any of your influences from Mexico? if so, what does that bring to your work?

IE: I have many influences and definitely the place I’ve lived all my life is one of them. I love Mexican crafts and I think you can find that in my work, in how it’s so busy and colorful. Pre-hispanic cultures are also a really good source of inspiration. Aztecs have a really strong connection with blood, guts, bones, and teeth, and used them a lot as elements for their myths. I’ve always been fascinated by that idea of how they related really violent concepts with others that may seem clashing in our Western culture like love, birth or beauty. This is mixture of the grotesque and violent with the beautiful is also something I like to incorporate in my work.
I feel like a lot of Mexican artists want to give a really obvious Mexican style to their work, using Pre-Hispanic characters, indigenous people, or elements like corn. My work doesn’t have that, and I think that’s why it’s not seen as very distinctively Mexican, but I’m more interested in looking into different ways of showing others what Mexico is like than by falling in corny cliches.


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Giant Robot Artist Friends Series – Jeni Yang



Originally from Taipei but now based in Los Angeles, Jeni Yang is an illustrator who experiments with a wide variety of materials and mediums. The incorporation of woodwork in her whimsical and surreal paintings adds a handcrafted feel; the use of pastels and soft wood stains, nostalgia. She works out of a garage in deep Orange County, and spends 50/50 of her time working on the wood portions of her work and painting. In this Giant Robot Artist Friends film, Yang explains her process further and you’ll get to see her use a scroll saw. Take a look at Jeni Yang’s work as part of Synthesis (showing with Jesse Fillingham).

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The Ryan McGinness Team Prepping for the BBQ tomorrow at GR2

A welcome guest and crew. That’s Ryan McGinness on the right who’s still in LA as part of his month long “tour”. His stop at Giant Robot 2 is tomorrow Friday 7-10, you’re invited. He’s be delivering a lecture at around 8pm. It’ll be cozy. Come get a dog, a slider, and a soda! Here’s the event info.

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GR2 5/27 7-10pm Ryan McGinness BBQ/Talk/Sign

Giant Robot is proud to host a BBQ, lecture and signing with Ryan McGinness in support of Sketchbook Selections: 2000-2011, his upcoming publication from Gingko Press.

This special event will take place on May 27 from 7-10 p.m. There is no guest list or ticketing required, but signing will be limited to McGinness items purchased at GR2.

Ryan McGinness

Sketchbook Selections: 2000-2011
BBQ, lecture, and book signing
Friday, May 27, 2011, 7-10 p.m.
2062 Sawtelle Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90025

(310) 445-9276

This special event will take place on May 27 from 7-10 p.m. There is no guest list or ticketing required, but signing will be limited to the new book and other McGinness items purchased at GR2.

Ryan McGinness is an American artist known for his extensive vocabulary of graphic drawings that use the visual language of public signage, corporate logos and contemporary iconography. He uses this imagery to create paintings, sculptures and environments. He studied at Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania as an Andrew Carnegie Scholar and interned at the Andy Warhol Museum. McGinness’ work can be found in permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Cincinnati Art Museum, MUSAC in Spain and the Misumi Collection in Japan.

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 shops and galleries, as well as an online equivalent.

For a full schedule of McGinness’ LA projects:

For more information about the event, GR2, or Giant Robot magazine, please contact:

Eric Nakamura
Giant Robot Owner/Publisher
[email protected]
(310) 479-7311