During the opening night for Rampage Kudasai, a solo showcase from Rampage Toys, artist Jon Malmstedt was comparing what he’s doing within the art and toy worlds to the feel of ’80s punk rock. Contemplating his statement, I’ve come to realize how right he probably is… For as well-known and respected as Rampage Toys is within the Japanese vinyl purist scene, Malmstedt spent his years as a Tokyo resident displaying exhibitions in his house as well as showcases at eateries, bars, and similar establishments.
Which, in essence, made Rampage Kudasai all the more appropriate. Held at Gomen-Kudasai, a Japanese noodle shop that isn’t known for art or toys, let alone pieces that are both at once, it had the same “underground” feel as Malmstedt’s exhibits in Japan. And as this was his first true solo outing since returning to the States, it was a perfect introduction of Malmstedt and his Rampage Toys works to his new hometown of New Paltz, NY.

Retrospectives at Rampage Kudasai

Revealing the diversity of his career, Malmstedt had a display of various Rampage Toys designs from throughout the years situated on a shelf behind the bar. Including nearly everything from his early resin excursions to his original Japanese monster inspired creations, this retrospective of his works was truly a sight to behold.

Of equal importance to the Rampage Toys history was the back wall, to which a copy of every exhibition poster from Malmstedt’s Tokyo-based house-gallery was affixed.

New works from Rampage Kudasai

Finishing off the exhibition, Malmstedt had a variety of hand-painted one-of-a-kind works and editions available at the showcase. Small hordes of micro figures were displayed, including Malmstedt’s own My Little Unicorn (2013) and Unicorn Tank (2014) in addition to his Shitman (2013) collaboration with Art Junkie and his Tiny Tough (2016) collaboration with Grumble Toy. The Ugly Unicorn (2011) was represented not only in its original form but a matching painted version of the Splurrt sculpted Uglier Unicorn (2016) and an extremely limited painted edition of the Konatsuya redesign, Ugly Onicorn (2016). Represented by unique versions were Malmstedt’s own Kaibutsuya: Revenge Kesagake (2015) as well as a version of Smash Tokyo ToysSeismic Ace (2012), and three Skull Head Butt collaborations: Hag DX (with Rampage Toys, 2015), Gnaw-X (with Plaseebo, 2015), and Dark Side Hunter X (with Mutant Vinyl Hardcore, 2015).

Rampage Kudasai had its opening reception at Gomen-Kudasai on December 9th, 2016 from 5-9pm. Unsold items from the exhibition (as well as the retrospective aspects) will remain on display until January 10th, 2017 at the space’s physical location (232 Main St, New Paltz, NY 12561).

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