“THE TOY AS ART” would be a befitting phrase to describe the arena my recent work inhabits. These are pieces inspired by the vivid memories of a fervent belief in the likes of Santa and Frankenstein, the tragic loss of that vibrant reality and on occasion my revulsion with the reality of today. My pieces find expression in the form of small sculptural figures in vinyl or resin and large folio limited edition prints.
Introducing a new sculpt by Bob Conge and Ultra Limited series of customs from Plaseebo, “The Misfits”.
“The Misfits” backstory © Bob Conge 2012
A familiar face at the Avon flea market every Sunday since the 60’s, Walter would spend the cooler mornings in search of the maimed and abandoned toys of children no longer. He rarely paid more than ten or fifteen cents a piece for the ravaged figures as most were missing limbs or heads. The collection being assembled was not about condition, resale or profit.
These were much more than idols made of plastic and vinyl, for Walter could feel the spirits and hear the distant laughter of the many children who had once worshiped these love-worn toys. To him, these toys were markers in lives unfolding, indelibly printed with the character of those who had played with them so many years ago. Holding each one in his now aging hand, he would listen to its story and wonder what had become of the child later in life.
Walter enjoyed many comfortable evenings with the collection in the old farm house nestled in the rolling hills of upstate New York. He had retired here after a lifetime of inventing and designing useful things for various companies and then spent the next twenty some years assembling the collection that now filled not only all three floors of the house, but his barn as well.
This past winter Walter began working on his Geppetto project. He hoped to design a system to capture the psychic energy he felt being released from the old toys and use it to power the robot toy he was building.
It was now late fall and the the robot body, complete with arms and legs, sat on the work bench awaiting its head and power source. It was one of those unusually warm and sun filled days that are so rare this time of year, perhaps the last one before the snow would again cocoon Walter with his collection for another winter. Drawn by the cunning day, he found himself walking through the Naples yellow fields beyond the barn. Feeling the liability of his eighty plus years, he sat down beneath the comfort of the large and singular Maple in the middle of the fields warmth and fell asleep.
Walter was awakened by the voices of children to find he was covered by what looked like a soft blanket of diamonds glistening in the moonlight. He stood up wondering why he did not feel the cold of this night. The answer came as he looked down to his snow covered body still lying beneath the tree.
Long before this ground became tillable it was the now long forgotten cemetery for the Crowhaven orphanage, who’s stone foundations still shown through the grass here and there at the edge of the woods. The field has been home these many years to those unknown children for whom no one came, save the reaper. Moving like curious cats, the children slowly floated over to Walter wherein he invited them to come to the house to see his toys.
As they entered the house, there on the workbench sat the headless robot with its power source window glowing in an array of changing colors like a miniature aurora borealis. The rest of that winter and many since found Walter building other robot bodies and the children selecting various heads from the collection to sit atop them. Misfits one and all.
This is the first “MISFIT” figure in the series:
Plaseebo plans to release six of the 9 inch one of a kind Misfit customs over the next 12 months. Each Misfit custom will be based on the new body sculpt in hand cast resin but will have a different head and hand paint.
The body chamber is filled with a magical mix of slowly moving gel colors and shapes illuminated from the back by a switched color changing LED unit that also lights the interior of the head.
And here are some other possible future Misfit customs:
I am pleased to have been invited to show some custom pieces in “THE TOY AS ART” group exhibition at the Jarvis Rockwell Gallery, 49 Main St. in North Adams Mass. The show opens Thursday July 26th and runs through August 26th. http://downstreetart.org/
One of the pieces I am showing is a 1 of 1 hand paint “The Son Of SUM”. Hand cast resin with inset eyes.
Humpty Dumpty Reanimated
© bob conge 2012
We all know how the first half of this story goes: H D was sitting on a wall / had a
great fall / and no one could put him back together again.
Well not until 1801, when a German stone mason named Wilhelm Trowels Point,
came across these strange looking white shell like pieces in the soil at the base
of a wall he was repairing on the grounds of the young Victor Frankenstein.
Victor recognized the pieces immediately as being from the legendary egg like
creature and thus began his first and far less well known foray into reanimation
many years before the Doctors infamous second attempt. In many ways this was
the more successful of his experiments and HD-2 became a most capable lab
assistant to the good Doctor until his death some 52 years later.
HD-2 ran out of power a few weeks later and was sold with contents of the
castle that following spring. Nothing is known of his whereabouts until May of
2005 when I purchased him from an old curio shop in London.
HD-2 has been a valued assistant in the Plaseebo shop these past seven years.
This is a new 11″ one-off custom vinyl mash-up with a vacuum tube, lights and slime.
The custom hand paint in the photo above was created in my studio a few weeks ago by my 6 year old grandson, Max Conge, and was my inspiration for the Ultra Limited “Molezillas Revenge” exclusive hand paint edition I created as an exclusive for the FOE Gallery in Northampton, MA. This vinyl figure is 7″ tall and is Made in USA from start to finish. The edition of 5, signed and numbered, will be released on December 9th. as part of the FOE Holiday Art Bizarre Exhibition.
This is the Night Gamer TRON Series introduced at the 2011 NYCC. They are 6.5″ vinyl custom hand-paints with glass eye inserts and an internal motion activated color-changing LED unit that illuminates the TRON design. While the first five in the series sold out, other custom hand-paints will be released as the series continues in 2012.
In darkened room with internal LED unit illuminating the TRON effect.
The ASTRONOT is a one-off 11 inch custom mash-up created for the Sofubi Godfathers Show at the TAG Gallery.
Also used image as a promotional poster for Plaseebo.