Designer Toys, Art & Pop Culture

February Exhibit: Playlist

Our February exhibit is a loosely themed group affair, featuring nearly 20 artists from the Chicago area and beyond (in some cases, way beyond).

The exhibit, entitled Playlist, will feature 2-4 works from each artist, all roughly 12x12 inches in size — the size of a vinyl record — hand picked for our imaginary play list.

You might recognize a few names of folks we've shown before on the list, but there are also a whole bunch of new faces and we can't wait to share their work with you!

Can’t make it to the gallery? Sign up for our gallery previews email list at previews.rotofugi.com to get first chance at online purchasing of these new works!

The gallery is open for viewing at Rotofugi, 2780 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, 10am-6pm daily, and the exhibit will also be viewable online at gallery.rotofugi.com


Playlist
12x12 Group Exhibition
February 11-March 5, 2023

Artist Reception
February 18, 2023, 6-8pm

Please join us for an informal artist reception the evening of February 18 with light snacks, soft drinks, and music by DJ Sean Doe! BYOB for alcohol.

Flyer Image by Jeff Pak


In My Happy Place — Rainbow Edition Signing and Release

Join us this Sunday, January 22nd from Noon to 2pm for a special exclusive figure release and signing with none other than the wonderful JC Rivera!

Known throughout Chicago for his iconic Bear Champ murals and artwork, JC has partnered with Strangecat Toys to produce this uplifting figure (that is also actually a lamp!) based on his 2017 painting "In My Happy Place."

This Rotofugi exclusive version adds a gradient rainbow effect and graffiti tag (on the back) to the original design and was produced in a limited edition of just 100 pieces.

In My Happy Place — Rainbow Edition is 5 inches tall, 7 inches wide, has an LED light inside that is powered via USB, and is priced at $150.

Sales begin this Sunday at Noon at the store, 2780 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago and remaining inventory will be available online at rotofugi.com beginning at 2pm Central Time.

January Exhibit: Ocean Muerto

We kick off a new year of exhibits with a solo show by one of the many exciting voices in Chicago that have been rising up in the creative scene the last few years: Ocean Muerto!

We're particularly excited to be working with Ocean Muerto because he is among a group of artists locally that are very much taking a multi-disciplinary approach to art — working in everything from murals and graffiti, traditional media, 3D printing, toy design and sculpture, to limited edition product runs.

For this exhibit, Ocean has created 12 paintings, each with an accompanying hand-crafted customized and kit-bashed toy sculpture that brings the the story of OUTSIDE to new dimensions.

Can’t make it to the gallery? Sign up for our gallery previews email list at previews.rotofugi.com to get first chance at online purchasing of these new works!

The gallery is open for viewing at Rotofugi, 2780 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, 10am-6pm daily, or view online at gallery.rotofugi.com


OUTSIDE
New Works by Ocean Muerto
January 14-February 5, 2023


Artist Reception
Please join us for an informal artist reception the evening of Saturday, January 21st, 6-8pm with light snacks and music by DJ Sean Doe!


About the Artist / Artist Statement

Ocean Muerto is a Pilsen(Chicago)-based creative who believes he was traumatized just enough to see the funny side of things. He fills his time exploring new media including painting, 3D printing, graffiti, toy making, and consuming bad movies so he doesn't have to be alone with his thoughts.

OUTSIDE is a love letter to anxiety and explores the fear of living life at large. Through a series of fantasyical paintings and toys, Ocean struggles with the responsibility of "Choose-Your-Own-Adventure." With no promises and guarantees, the only way through is to go "Outside."


Ali Six Toy Signing

Join us Sunday for a special in-store toy signing with Nikko Locander, aka Ali Six! His new vinyl figure Richie the Tanuki is a 5-inch tall blister-packaged vinyl art figure with interchangeable hands and a decidedly Chicago attitude and feel. ✌🏼🖕

You've seen Richie in murals and wheat pastes on the streets of Chicago, now take him home for $120.

If you've got a street/graffiti art fan in the fam this independently produced figure, with a signed blister card, would be a pretty nice gift, just saying.

Ali Six "Richie the Tanuki" Toy Signing
Sunday, December 11, 3-6pm

Rotofugi — 2780 N Lincoln Ave. — Chicago



About the Artist

"My name is Nikko Locander otherwise known as Ali Six. I am a multi medium artist born and raised in Humboldt Park Chicago. Since I was a child I ventured with my imagination to create cartoons, and in high school painting the streets of Chicago. After realizing there was more to art than just graffiti I combined what I learned through spray paint and my love of cartoons to create Richie the Raccoon. I use Richie to liven up the streets of Chicago and around the world with murals. Throughout my journey I have taught myself how to graphic design, create rugs, tattoo, wheat paste, spray paint, make toys, acrylic paint, and hand sculpt."


December Exhibit: Sad & Horrible 2

Two years ago we were very much in the middle of pandemic-induced chaos and the Sad & Horrible Show seemed oddly perfect for the times...and though things are a little better now, we couldn't resist the urge to make things just a little more sadder & horribler....that's right, it's the Sad & Horrible Show 2 featuring all new works by Sad Salesman & Horrible Adorables!

The Sad & Horrible Show 2 — Sadder & Horribler
New Works by Sad Salesman & Horrible Adorables
December 10, 2022-January 8, 2023
Open Daily 10am-6pm



The exhibit will be open for viewing and sales beginning Saturday, December 10 at 10am and we will be holding a soft opening for fans to meet and chat with the Horrible Adorables...please check our social media for an announcement on the times when they will be at the gallery.

Can’t make it to the gallery? Sign up for our gallery previews email list at previews.rotofugi.com to get first chance at online purchasing of these new works!


The gallery is open for viewing at Rotofugi, 2780 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, 10am-6pm daily, or view online at gallery.rotofugi.com


About the Artists

Sad Salesman is New York-based artist Eric Althin…he believes there is a little sad salesman in everyone. He created a  tragic but tenacious fellow, who ended up becoming his mascot/logo/website. He has always been a character lover and for most of his life, a toy collector. As a kid it was He-man and Star Wars toys, then it became designer toys and sofubi. He started sculpting his own toy designs and fell in love with bringing new characters into the world to make your inner sad salesman smile :)

Horrible Adorables are the creations of Jordan Elise Perme and Christopher Lees, a wife and husband team from Cleveland. They met at the Cleveland Institute of Art where Jordan graduated with her BFA in Fiber & Material Studies, and Chris was pursuing training in fine arts after completing his BS in Mechanical Engineering.

Jordan and Chris bring their soft sculptures to life by meticulously arranging patterns of felt scales onto hand carved forms. The resulting characters have qualities that are booth cartoonish and eerily realistic at the same time. Horrible Adorables are strange hybrid creatures from a fantastical world. Their facial expressions and postures reveal recognizably human emotions as they interact with one another.

In addition to Horrible Adorables, Jordan also works as a freelance toy and textile designer. She has proudly worked for companies such as Little Tikes, Hasbro and Joann Fabrics.


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