Designer Toys, Art & Pop Culture

May Exhibit: JC Rivera

It's Tricky
New Works by JC Rivera
May 15-June 13, 2021

This month we continue a three show run of Chicago-based artists with one of the most prolific and loved muralists our fair city has seen in recent years: JC Rivera!

JC has been getting up on walls all over Chicago and beyond (not to mention canvases, prints, toys and more) with his now iconic character "The Bear Champ" for the last decade, spreading a message of hope and perseverance.

For this new show, JC has created a series of 100% hand-painted skateboard decks...we can't wait!

Works will be available first to members of our previews email list...sign up at previews.rotofugi.com to receive an email when works are available — we try to have a preview out a day or two before an exhibit opens.

For those in Chicagoland, the exhibit will be open for viewing and sales beginning Saturday, May 15, 10am-6pm, at 2780 N. Lincoln Ave., however, we are being cautious and will not be holding an opening reception.

It's Tricky continues through June 13th and the gallery is open for viewing at 10am-6pm daily, or view online at gallery.rotofugi.com.


About the Artist

JC Rivera is a Chicago-based artist known for his large-scale murals, paintings, designer toys, and illustrations based on his original character The Bear Champ.

Rivera’s signature character represents the underdog and the drive to keep going no matter how tough the opponent. The Champ is known for his signature phrase “Just roll with the punches” and he lives by that motto! Rivera and his character have been spreading this message around the world for almost a decade!


Posted May 07, 2021 by Kirby Kerr 0

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
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