Though the film Kommissar X – Jagd auf Unbekannt was released in 1966 to cinemas, this German-Italian-Yugoslavian co-production’s most recognizable title didn’t originate until it reached the UK two years later, where it was called Kiss Kiss, Kill Kill. Based on a novel in the Kommissar X series, creator PA Müller led an impressive career, writing over 100 dime novels and pocketbooks for this line in less than a decade under the pseudonym of Bert F. Island. And more than a similarity in titles correlates this film to the most recent Clutter Gallery exhibition, Kiss, Kiss, Kill! A showcase dedicated to designer toy artists that work in kaijū and/or sofubi, meaning inspired by the Japanese “strange beasts” of film & television and/or using the country’s prevalent soft vinyl production material, practitioners of this art style tend to use aliases and be prolific, much like Müller. Including works by Dski One, Grizlli Atom, Guumon, Mark Nagata, Plaseebo, Psycho Scimitar, and Splurrt, as well as gallery co-owner Josh Kimberg’s American Gross identity, this exhibit featured over 65 pieces on display. And while many were worthy of attention, several seemed more eye-catching than the rest.

Rampage Toys’ Fantasy Playset for Kiss, Kiss, Kill!

With the Fantasy Playset, Rampage Toys (Jon Malmstedt) opts to not highlight a single piece from his decade-long career but rather incorporates several works together into a single-setting story. Malmstedt’s humanoid “Snack Victim” figures are typically the prey in his predatory beast Kaibutsuya series, but the trio seen here have broken free from that fate and instead have encircled the Shaggy Little Unicorn piece. Apparently intent on sacrificing the animal to their dark lord, this role is fulfilled by the form of the skull-headed Minotauros, the second figure from GEEK!’s Jyujin series of human-animal hybrids. Holding aloft a Goblin Uglier Unicorn, which employs Splurrt’s reinterpretaton of Malmstedt’s Ugly Unicorn creation, the massive Minotaur creature is beautifully decorated to truly accent the form’s sculpting by Dream Rocket (Junichi Yajima). With all the pieces in this Fantasy Playset having been hand-painted by Malmstedt uniquely for this one-of-a-kind collection, it strikes an imposing pose in the gallery’s window display, tantalizing passersby to enter and see more.

Kikkake Toy’s A.I. (Adult Intelligence) for Kiss, Kiss, Kill!

Wonderfully mimicking the appearance of a real blow-up sex doll, these one-off “Lie eyes” versions of the A.I. (Adult Intelligence) form are expertly painted to create the illusion of them being foil helium balloons. But, in truth, they are actually sculptural works that have been cast in soft vinyl. Created by Kikkake Toy (Atsushi Kotaki), these are a distinct directional shift for the veteran artist, who has strictly produced bestial and humanoid creatures since beginning in the designer toy field in 2010. Intended to represent something inflated with the “toy’s desire”, the A.I. (Adult Intelligence) pieces brilliantly incorporate sculpted blow-up valves onto the back of the head and buttocks. Presented in Flesh, Black, Pink, and Green colorations, each is adorned with the exhibit’s name on its belly, a permanent reminder of the special event they came from.

Wonder Goblin’s Queen Hagopuss for Kiss, Kiss, Kill!

According to the fictional legend of Queen Hagopuss, this leviathan emerged from the sea’s depths at some undisclosed point in the future, growing to an enormous size as the centuries passed. Conceptually reminiscent of Lovecraft‘s Cthulhu, the Queen Hagopuss creation was designed, sculpted, hand-painted, and produced by filmmaker and practical FX artist James Sizemore under his Wonder Goblin guise. Decorated in a manner that glows under blacklights, this one-of-a-kind soft vinyl monstrosity’s vibrant coloration highlights the sculptural detailing. A true textural marvel, every wrinkled fold and oozing droplet congealing into a impossibly real-feeling form.

Seymour’s Manky Neko & Oni-Neko for Kiss, Kiss, Kill!

While the term “manky” isn’t widely known in America, it’s a European slang word used to describe a situation, person, or object that is in a poor state of affairs or in bad taste. With “neko” being the Japanese word for cat, it’s rather simple to determine what the Manky Neko creation from Seymour (Peter Kelk) is meant to depict. And does it ever deliver. A grotesquely mangey feline, this rendition of the Manky Neko was hand-painted by the artist in an edition of three, each featuring an airbrushed golden base partially obscurred with a mottled marble of dark coloration and then highlighted with gold leaf pigment. Made in a matching scheme, Kelk also debuted the new variant head for the form, creating the disturbingly demonic Oni-Neko. All featuring crisp pops of coloration in the eyes, a charm of traditional Chinese-style coins hangs amidst each piece’s exposed sextet of breasts. With the Manky Neko conceived as a parody of the common Japanese maneki-neko figurines, commonly called “beckoning cat” pieces in English, these can be seen as “unwelcoming cat” works, especially considering their collared tags read 失せろ, which roughly means “fuck off”.

A Photo Overview of Kiss, Kiss, Kill!

Having had its opening reception on Saturday, March 10th from 6-9pm, all works in this exhibition will remain on display until April 6th, 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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