Gift Wrapped 2017

The Clutter Gallery‘s showcase space was overflowing with sculptures, paintings, and illustrations for Gift Wrapped 2017, their fifth annual holiday exhibition. Comprised of affordable art pieces intended for last minute seasonal shoppers, this cash and carry event featured a diverse range of aesthetic creations for all manner of designer toy movement collectors. From the cute Pupcake works of Kelly Denato to the skull-laden pieces by Tokyo Jesus, from the surreal sculptures of Erica Borghstijn to the hand-painted vinyl forms by Jenn & Tony Bot and Tasha Zimlich, this impressive array was mainly comprised of artists that had been associated with the gallery in the past. And while it would be impossible to thoroughly discuss every one of the over 200 pieces from Gift Wrapped 2017, there are several works within this overall extraordinary lineup worthy of being focused upon.

Kyle Kirwan’s Batabia Bloom

In 2014, Kyle Kirwan introduced his Willo creation. Hailing from artist’s fictional world of Dor, these bipedal, antlered beasts have bulbous mounds covering their 11-inch tall sculpted form, implying the woolen fur that adorns them. And similarly styled are the spherical bodies of Kirwan’s 5½-inch tall Bloom pieces, these cartoonishly long-legged creatures typically located in close proximity to and in symbiotic relations with the Willo, according to the artist’s fanciful narrative. Since the debut of the Bloom form in 2016, it has appeared in renditions modified by aspects like egg-shaped noses, hairy ankles, jutting horns, and gaping maws, but his Gift Wrapped 2017 iteration is different than the rest. Titled Batabia Bloom, it’s black base has a beautifully subtle array of colorful circles across its face, implying a multi-eyed nature. But what really stands this one-of-a-kind piece apart for its brethren are the six glow-in-the-dark antlers sprouting from its head, each one resembling those associated with the Willo. A truly strange hybridization between Kirwan’s most prevalent forms, one must wonder the implications within his imaginative land of Dor.

BAKKUN’s Fortune Deer (Snow Flower Ver. Clear)

The largest island off the coast of South Korea is Jeju, which contains the highest mountain in the country, Hallasan. And upon this peak is a small crater-lake called Baengnokdam, or White Deer Lake, the source of several legends regarding the Siberian roe deer that live there. Inspired by this, South Korean artist BAKKUN (Sang Hyuk Park) set out to create his handmade resin Fortune Deer form near the end of 2015. Publicly displaying examples of it at May 2016’s Art Toy Culture, alongside works by fellow White Pin collective members, this early rendition had a more traditional stubby deer tail, which was evolved over the next several months into the ‘flaming’ shape that has become the standard for the form since. And embracing Gift Wrapped 2017‘s concept, Park contributed a single Fortune Deer (Snow Flower Ver. Clear), its transparent body beautifully accented by the purple hue adorning the antlers, legs, and tail, each ending with a chilling blue. But it is the painted embellishments, the so-called snow flowers, that delicately finish the form, a final added touch of magic for this legendary creature.

Nympheas Dolls’ Tit’pousse 1

When Nympheas Dolls (Sophie “K6” Louis) introduced the Tit’pousse form in July of 2015, she described it as being a “nature spirit” that embodied a “baby plant”. And for Gift Wrapped 2017 she has created three unique renditions of this sculpture, each one taking the 2⅓-inch tall ball-jointed doll out of their intended wilderness setting and reimagining them within the consumerist jungle. Standing in a miniature shipping box, glittering glue oozing on its side like frosting sliding off some confectionary treat, this is balanced upon a sculpted rendition of a layered cookie. Including elements to recall the Tit’pousse‘s nature-oriented background, such as shimmering butterfly decorations and a handmade lily-like flower, the hard resin and pliable polyurethane figure itself seems gleefully happy to be set in these surroundings.

Cat Atomic’s Atomic Hypnosis

Transformed by Cat Atomic (Felix Martinez) into the unique Atomic Hypnosis piece, this coarse designed 3½-inch tall omen blink vinyl sculpture has been carefully decorated by hand in acrylic paints. Featuring a cool selection of light blues across most of the form, there are art deco-styled tree branch shapes inhabiting the eyes and belly, with simple dots granting the illusion of snowfall throughout. Coated in a finishing layer of iridescent glitter powder, there’s a wonderous sparkle as light playfully catches on the form’s exterior.

Gabriel Carpio’s Uchu no Oni

Modifying Kronk‘s four-armed Mutant Ape of No Hope from 2012’s Dunny Apocalypse Series, this Kidrobot produced form has been hand-painted by Venezulan artist Gabriel Carpio with his well-known flair for Eastern culture influenced touches. Especially fond of creating Japanese themed works, particularly those involving the country’s supernatural yokai folklore, his one-of-a-kind Uchu no Oni contribution to Gift Wrapped 2017 is a depiction of an oni, or an ogre-like demon. Using a title that could be translated as “Demon’s Demon” (うちゅの鬼), the three-eyed beast detailed here has magnificently oversized teeth, fang-like incisors hugging either side of a lolling tongue decoration. And while this expertly executed work seems the antithesis of the holidays, Carpio’s signature colors of red, black, white, and gold grant it signifiers of seasonal cheer.

Further images from Gift Wrapped 2017

Having had its opening reception on Saturday, December 9th from 6-9pm, all unsold works in this exhibition will remain on display until January 5th, 2018 at the gallery’s physical location (163 Main Street, Beacon, NY 12508).

View the gallery’s dedicated page for the exhibition

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