Designer Toys, Art & Pop Culture

Sonny Angel Swap Meet and Cat Life Release

Load up all your extra Sonny Angels and head to the store on Sunday, August 6th, 12noon-2pm for our second Sonny Angel Swap Meet plus the release of the new limited edition series Cat Life!


We'll have tables set up so you can spread out and show what you have for trade, name tags so you can make frens, free soft drinks and water, and free candy because Sonny is SO SWEET! 💙

Sonny Angel Swap Meet Rules
1. Setup Starts at 11:30 — Trading at 12 Noon
2. No Selling — Trades Only Please
3. Be Nice — No One Likes a Meanie

Sonny Angel Cat Life will go on sale at Noon — IN STORE ONLY. Because Sonny Angel has a relatively newfound, and particularly enthusiastic, fan base we are limiting sales of this series to our Chicago store only (no online sales) for the time being. Thanks for your understanding.

See you on August 6th at 2780 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago!

Rotofugi is an LGBTQ+ Safe Space 🏳️‍🌈


July Exhibit: Ennis Martin

Our next exhibit is just about ready to launch! Join us this Saturday as we delve into The Multiverse Chronicles — featuring all new artworks by Chicago-based artist, illustrator, B-Boy, and martial artist Ennis Martin!

We last showed Ennis in 2019, where he introduced our audience to his sci-fi world of flying and/or four-legged whales with giant feet decked out for battle, other flying aquatic creatures, and bunnies driving mechs. A largely self-taught painter, Ennis has been honing his artistry and building this world for 20 plus years, and we can't wait to see and share what's next with you!  

The Multiverse Chronicles
New Works by Ennis Martin
July 15-August 6, 2023

Artist Reception
Saturday, July 15, 6-8pm
Rotofugi — 2780 N. Lincoln Ave — Chicago

For first online access to this and future exhibits sign up at https://previews.rotofugi.com



About the Artist

Ennis Martin was born and raised in Chicago. His childhood was filled with inspiring illustrations that he found in comics. The artistry and story-telling that he found in comic books he poured over when he was young led to a healthy appreciation for art and the desire to have a hand in it himself.

For a time he dabbled in graffiti; he took a few courses at the International Academy of Art in Chicago and finally he settled into a style and story that permeates throughout his current artwork. Martin identifies his expression in art as primarily self-taught and continues to devote himself to perfecting his craft in his Chicago home and studio.

 


July Exhibit: Melissa Sue Stanley

We're hitting our summer stride and ready to bring you a bunch more awesome art, starting with a new exhibit we are really excited about! Chicago-based Melissa Sue Stanley is a wonderful multi-disciplinary artist, illustrator, and storyteller that we last showed in 2016, my how time flies!

Beginning Saturday, July 1 we'll have a new exhibit featuring a collection of all new creature sculptures from Melissa’s "Woolbeasts" narrative — Creatures You Might Meet on the Treehouse Trail. Don’t miss your chance to check out these beautiful hand-sculpted creatures featuring hand-knitted scarves, stitched wool satchels, and their travel accessories.

A DANGEROUS ROAD WINDS THROUGH THE FOREST…

The creatures in the trees appear gentle — but every beast is wild, and even the softest has thorns hidden in its fur.

To help travelers navigate their way from the city to the sea, through the twisting wood and down into the dark valley, the Grimoire Council has commissioned the treehouse witch, Grisella, to produce a guidebook.

Grisella’s Woolbeast Wayguide (coming summer 2024) will contain everything you need to know about traveling the Treehouse Forest: maps through the different regions, tips for shopping and dining, how to avoid death and dismemberment, and what to do for a bit of fun on the road.

A zine-style collection of stories from Grisella’s Woolbeast Wayguide will be released as part of this exhibit.



Woolbeasts: Creatures You Might Meet on the Treehouse Trail
New Works by Melissa Sue Stanley
July 1-28, 2023
Open 10am-6pm Daily

Artist Reception — July 1, 6-8pm
featuring Music by DJ Sean Doe

Sign up for our Gallery Previews Email List at http://previews.rotofugi.com for first online access to this exhibit.


Nineteen Years and Counting

Ya know, sometimes you just gotta ✨ hype✨ yourself up a little — especially when someone says something this nice about you. We are fast approaching our 19th Anniversary on July 3rd and I just wanted to take a moment to reflect.
 
When Whitney and I started Rotofugi in 2004 we had no concept of our possible longevity. We had just fallen in love with this new "urban vinyl" art toy thing and crazily, wanted to own a store. It seemed like it would be fun. She would mind the store days when I was at work, and we'd be able to work together when I was not.
 
We were embraced by an eager bunch of toy & art collectors that we honestly only hoped existed, but the timing was right and just 3 months later I quit my job and haven't looked back.
 
There have been so many ups and downs, even a few times when I was sure we wouldn't make it. There were crazy times in San Diego & NYC doing conventions, releases with people lined down the block, amazing art exhibits and pop-up shops — and multiple toy projects with some of the best people in the business. There were also a lot of late nights & all nighters, runs to drop off packages at the post office at 3am, and just plain hard work. There was a flood, so many snowstorms, a few broken windows, and we've even been burglarized once...but we've made it so far.
 
Honestly, I'm not entirely sure how we did it...but I know we've had the best people working for and with us — many of which I consider family now. I do wish Whitney was here to see that we're still making people smile...but I know she'd be proud of what I and our little staff have managed to do over the last 5 years despite the challenges.
 
Thank you Chicago, thank you toy and art collectors around the globe, and most of all, thank *you* for continuing to support our weird little toy and art business. I don't know if we really deserve to be called "one of the gems of Chicago" or not, but I do hope to live up to that for as long as I am able.
 
Kirby Kerr
Rotofugi
Gallery Director & Owner

June Exhibit: Charr Morita

We have, for the past few years, collaborated with Taipei-based gallery The Little Hut on several exhibitions, all wonderful artists that we might not have access to otherwise — and they have brought us another amazing collaboration.

Our June exhibit features Japanese artist Charr Morita — fresh off of collaborations with Adidas and uber hip streetwear brand VANDYTHPINK as well as a November 2022 solo exhibit at The Little Hut, Charr brings a playful aesthetic, bright colors, and enough fresh art to fill a small house for his first US based solo exhibition.

The exhibit is presented by The Little Hut and How2Work, producers of Charr's fabulous SK8 One-Chu vinyl figure, of which we will be releasing a new green with white ball cap version as part of the exhibit.

The SK8 One-Chu will be available first to attendees of the opening weekend of the exhibit, with an online release to follow early in the week after.

Be sure to sign up for the Gallery Previews List at http://previews.rotofugi.com for first online access to original art from this and future exhibits.

Your Happy Place
New Works by Charr Morita
June 10-July 9, 2023
Open 10am-6pm Daily

Sorry, no opening reception this month.

About the Artist

Charr Morita (B. 1988) is good at expressing his passion for skateboarding, streetwear and hip-hop culture through his unique illustrations — impressing with humorous, dynamic characters, and detailed fashion.

In his early career, Charr created art flyers and hosted group exhibitions during the day — and at night he performed live painting at clubs and underground events in Osaka, Kobe, and Kyoto.

After the birth of his son, Charr returned to his hometown, Kagawa Prefecture Japan. Nevertheless, he has never withdrawn his artistic pursuits and has posted his artworks on SNS and Instagram daily since 2016. From 2021, he started expanding his career in hand-painted artworks, including brand collaborations in various countries.

This is his first solo exhibition hosted in the United States.

@charr.morita_ @thelittlehutco @how2workhk

#graphicdesigner #illustration #art #original #drawingart #charr #art #dog #hiphop #popart #sk8 #skateboard #hypebeastart


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