Designer Toys, Art & Pop Culture

April Exhibit: Bird Milk

Birdbrain

Birdbrain
A Collection of New Work by Bird Milk
April 17-May 9, 2021

We're kicking off Chicago's warm weather season (hopefully) with a new exhibit featuring one of our city's prolific muralists, none other than Bird Milk! Based in Pilsen, Bird Milk has been bringing color and life to walls around town for years and putting smiles on faces in the process! We're super excited to be presenting a new body of work so you can bring a little Bird Milk to your home!

The exhibit will be open for viewing and sales beginning Saturday, April 17, 10am-6pm, but we are being cautious and will not be holding an opening reception.

Sign up for our gallery previews email list at previews.rotofugi.com to receive an email when works are available to purchase online — we try to have a preview out a day or two before an exhibit opens, though sometimes it doesn’t go out until sometime after the opening.

The exhibit continues through May 9th and 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 Artist

Bird Milk is a Pilsen-based artist and muralist with a background in illustration and character design. Mostly known for his droopy eyed characters and "voluptuous" birds, Bird Milk has a wide variety of goofy characters that are created to put a smile on the viewers face. His work can be seen on the streets of Chicago in the form of stickers and murals throughout the city.


Posted Apr 09, 2021 by Kirby Kerr 0

March Mini Exhibit: Phobia Toys

Talking Toys & Plastic Grapes
A Mini Soft Vinyl Exhibit by Phobia Toys
March 27-April 25, 2021

Every once in awhile we come across a toy maker and everything they do just resonates. For a little while now we've had our eyes on Minneapolis-based Phobia Toys...the combination of the grotesque and a certain derpy charm has won our hearts over and we are excited to present a collection of one-off and small run figures by Phobia in this new mini exhibit.

The exhibit will be open for viewing and sales beginning Saturday, March 27, 10am-6pm, but we are being cautious and will not be holding an opening reception.

Sign up for our gallery previews email list at previews.rotofugi.com to receive an email when works are available to purchase online — we try to have a preview out a day or two before an exhibit opens, though sometimes it doesn’t go out until sometime after the opening.

The exhibit continues through April 25th and 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 Artist

Phobia Toys is a small independent toy company based in Minneapolis, MN, focusing on finding a balance between the cute and grotesque through the soft vinyl toy medium. All toys are hand sculpted and painted by Ben Farnam (@binbizii) in his South Minneapolis studio.

Ben often collaborates with some of his favorite toy artists: painting each other’s toys, mashing up different sculpts, and coming up with character combinations that make for fun and unusual soft vinyl toys. Phobia Toys provide collectors with quality soft vinyl toys that are strange, unique, and limited to very small runs.


Posted Mar 13, 2021 by Kirby Kerr 0

March Exhibit: Michael Fleming aka Tweedlebop

Curious Critters
New Works by Michael Fleming (aka Tweedlebop)
March 20-April 11, 2021

Heading into Spring we thought it was time for something colorful and fun, and it was an easy choice to ask Michael Fleming, aka Tweedlebop, to put on a show. With a 15+ year long career in illustration, Michael has a super fun, super colorful style that connects with both kids and adults alike and we're excited to have a new solo exhibit featuring new works of his. We don't know what all the Curious Critters will look like just yet, but we can't wait to find out!

The exhibit will be open for viewing and sales beginning Saturday, March 20, 10am-6pm, but we are being cautious and will not be holding an opening reception.

Sign up for our gallery previews email list at previews.rotofugi.com to receive an email when works are available to purchase online — we try to have a preview out a day or two before an exhibit opens, though sometimes it doesn’t go out until sometime after the opening.

The exhibit continues through April 11th and 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 Artist

Michael Fleming has 15+ years of practical experience as a professional illustrator, working with both digital and traditional mediums. Specialities are children's media, character design and large cartoon heads. 

He is taller than Abraham Lincoln.


Posted Mar 05, 2021 by Kirby Kerr 0

February Exhibit: Stephen Blickenstaff

Infestations & Splattered Mutations
New Works by Stephen Blickenstaff
February 20-March 14, 2021

It's time to get just a little bit weird! We're excited to be presenting a new series of paintings by Baltimore-based artist Stephen Blickenstaff — since the early '80s Stephen has been laying down a steady stream of wonderful art with a cool '60s monster culture vibe (including the iconic cover of The Cramps' "Bad Music for Bad People") and we're stoked to have 20 new paintings of his to show.


The exhibit will be open for viewing and sales beginning Saturday, February 20, 10am-6pm, but we are being cautious and will not be holding an opening reception.

Sign up for our gallery previews email list at previews.rotofugi.com to receive an email when works are available to purchase online — we try to have a preview out a day or two before an exhibit opens, though sometimes it doesn’t go out until sometime after the opening.

The exhibit continues through March 14th and 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 Artist

Stephen Blickenstaff has been creating monster themed graphics and illustrations for publication since the early '80s. Inspired by '60s monster culture, Steve’s work is often described as a twisted blend of horror and comedy.

His work has appeared on album covers, T-shirts and posters for bands and personalities such The Cramps, Los Straitjackets, Southern Culture On The Skids, The Fleshtones, They Might Be Giants, and Dr. Demento. Recently, Steve collaborated with his friend and fellow artist John Detrich to create the FUNNY FIENDS sticker series released by Sidekick Labs, and his work has appeared in publications such as "The Book of Weirdo: A Retrospective of R. Crumb's Legendary Humor Comics Anthology" and Les Barany's "Carnivora the Dark Art of Automobiles."

Steve is also personally involved in the music scene — he currently plays theremin with the instrumental surf bands the Atomic Mosquitos and Killers From Space.


Posted Feb 08, 2021 by Kirby Kerr 0

January Exhibit: Brett Manning

The Endless Gloaming

New Works by Brett Manning
January 16-February 14, 2021

We are beyond pleased to be welcoming Indiana-based artist Brett Manning back to our gallery walls for a solo exhibit opening on January 16. We first showed Brett’s work in 2016, in an exhibit titled “Magical Girls,” and she’s been very busy since then building a following for her otherworldly magical art and the “spooky things” that she is compelled to make.


The exhibit will be open for viewing and sales beginning Saturday, January 16, 10am-6pm, but we are being cautious and will not be holding an opening reception.

Sign up for our gallery previews email list at previews.rotofugi.com to receive an email when works are available to purchase online! We try to have a preview out the day before an exhibit opens, though sometimes it doesn’t go out until sometime after the opening.

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



Artist’s Statement

My friends! The truth is out! It has never been more evident than now! Clutch those blankets close to your chest and hear me…NO! Hear us!

That warm woven security you have draped around your soft body is not quite the protection you’ve been led on to believe – it is more. It is your ritual garb. The veil is not parting, oh no! She quickly decays around us! Crumbling to bits, heralding the return of the Old Ones…the ancient and forgotten deities climb from their hidden holes within caves and mountains, they emerge with ferocity and grace from the great mysterious hills and mounds of grass and stone which scatter our world. They are born from every plume of dancing smoke, man-made or otherwise.

They have been watching and listening patiently to our cries, but for how long you might wonder? However long it has taken our collected tears to create an ocean…their return not only approaches, but it is here, now! Make way! Leave cake and milk by your front door, ring bells and light candles! Sing and dance if you feel the call! Do not fear! Celebration and respect is all they demand for their Glorious Reprise so don your magickal garb and join in on the festivities! The time of renewal is now, friends! Daytime greets the Night, old flows into new, our worlds collide!

Embrace the Endless Gloaming, dearest friends, the glittering, all encompassing spectrum of The Everything warmly envelops us!

— Brett Manning, 2021


Posted Jan 08, 2021 by Kirby Kerr 0
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