Cincinnati-based artist Steve Casino is known for his peanut art (which landed him a spot in the records of Ripley’s Believe It Or Not), but lately, he’s tackled another endeavor: making wooden pull toys packed with pop culture and mature flair. These toys pay homage to horror films like The Exorcist and and musicians like Jimi Hendrix.
Pop surrealist Ron English recently erected a massive pair of sculptures in China. But shortly after installation, the giant-sized MC Supersized and Liberty Grin characters faced an issue. “Although the statues, produced by Poplife, were legally sanctioned, local authorities ordered their removal shortly after installation, citing concerns about SCALE!!!” the artist wrote. On Wednesday morning, they were up, but by 10 p.m. that evening, they were gone. English was last featured on HiFructose.com here.
Kathie Olivas, a New Mexico-based artist, explores fear and comfort in her custom toys and paintings. In a show currently running at Stranger Factory Gallery in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the artist offers a new slew of paintings, assemblages, and toys. “Strange Days” runs through May 28 at the space. Through her series “The Misery Children,” the artist takes on “society’s insatiable desire to assign ‘cuteness’ and our discomfort with the unknown.”
Singapore-born, Los Angeles-based artist Jolene Lai creates narrative oil paintings and mixed-media works that blend cinematic and mythical notions. These surreal images can feel both pensive and intense, conjuring familiar images and the otherworldly. The artist, formerly a movie poster designer, often anchors her paintings in youthful contexts.
After a 12-year lifespan that began on Myspace, Pepe the Frog is dead. Creator/artist Matt Furie first shared the character with the world in Boy’s Club #1, and the anthropomorphic frog became famous for the line, “Feels good, man,” said in the strip as he justified urinating at a stall with his pants and underwear fully down to his ankles. However, after the character was co-opted by followers of Donald Trump during the 2016 Presidential Election, the continued negative use of Pepe forced Furie to make a decision.
Daniel Rueda and Anna Devís, a duo based in Valencia, Spain, travel the world, crafting photographs that use both each other and architecture as characters. Toying with perspective and geometry, each photo the pair publish on their respective Instagram accounts is packed with humor and accompanying text.