The summer heat had one, hopefully, final hurrah that coincided with the opening of the Vinylploitation exhibition in Beacon, NY. Implied by its portmanteau title, a blending of the main sculptural medium employed by the artists (vinyl) and the classic grindhouse cinema genre (exploitation films), the gallery’s wall was lined with pop art tributes to ’70s and ’80s horror and sci-fi films.

The Clutter Gallery‘s modest main space dedicates the right-hand side to a gift shop, including remaining pieces from previous exhibitions, while the left-hand wall was a dedicated display of the exhibition. Including works by Retroband (Aaron Moreno), Miscreation Toys (Jeremi Rimel), and Violence Toy (Zach Taylor & Ezra Haidet), each piece form stood apart from the wall, standing on white pedistals, while curtains of dripped, dark colored paints adorned the background.

Confronted with interpretations of cinematic characters like murderous monsters, cannibalistic tribesmen, and post-apocalyptic warriors, this exhibition — like most memorable ones — housed a handful of truly exemplory works:

Retroband’s MEATS – Meat Grinders

Immediately recognizable as a depiction of Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s titular character from Terminator 2: Judgement Day, the silvery metallic elements — especially the resin-cast detachable minigun hand replacement — consume one’s attention but the true artistry is the overall composition. Using his own MEATS (2015, see here) form as the basis, Retroband’s Moreno allowed the mottled texture of his original sculpt to remain the highlight across much of the piece. Using minimal sprays to draw forth the details, a particularly inticing area are the feet which feature a subtle rub of red on the toenails.

Crafted with a built-in pushbutton switch on the side of its head, MEATS – Meat Grinders has a LED eye in the exposed machine side of its face. Perfectly capturing the iconic glowing red glare of the Terminator, this bright illumination drew one’s gaze even in a brightly lit room.

Miscreation Toys’ Tetsuo: The Iron Monster

When it came to the works of Miscreation Toys’ Jeremi Rimel, I was torn between spotlighting his trio of Cannibal Iron Monster series works and the pictured Tetsuo: The Iron Monster piece. All magnificent modifications of Rimel’s own The Iron Monster (2014), I ultimately couldn’t resist his tribute to the Japanese cult film Tetsuo: The Iron Man.

Bridging classic and modern conceptualizations of industrialization, I adore how this cyberpunk, body horror character was built upon Rimel’s The Iron Monster base, itself inspired by the retro-futuristic look of the nameless robot from the serialized 1939 film The Phantom Creeps. Pain-stakingly fabricated using wires, plastic parts, metal parts, and vinyl apoxie, the finished work is covered in a complex texture of mechanical elements… including the gargantuan power drill phallace from the film.

Violence Toy’s Asogian Assassin – Puzzle Man

Admirably finding the balance between remaining true to their original figure forms and being recognizable reinterpretations of their cinematic character choices, Violence Toy’s Taylor & Haidet mainly transformed their hordes of unique works through paint application and minimal sculptural additions. Given the proximity to the impressive pieces by Moreno and Rimel, the Violence Toy creations — perhaps unfairly — felt they relied more heavily on their subject matter to make the works memorable.

A perfect example being the above-pictured Asogian Assassin – Puzzle Man piece, a modification of the duo’s Asogian Assassin (2015). Itself already a tribute to the ’80s, its head an obvious reinterpretation of Steven Spielberg‘s E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, I’m attracted to this work as a tribute to the Lead Cenobite (Pinhead or Hell Priest) from Clive Barker‘s Hellraiser. In short, it’s my longterm love of this character that makes me appreciate this work rather than anything inherent to the work itself. Though, I must admit, the eyes within this vinyl form are striking, piercing pools that convey an inherent sadness.

Further images from Vinylploitation

Having had its opening reception on Saturday, Sept 10th from 6-9pm, all works in this exhibition will remain on display until October 3rd, 2016 at their physical location (163 Main Street, Beacon, NY 12508).

View the gallery’s dedicated page for the exhibition

For more information on Retroband:
website | tumblr | shop | instagram | twitter | newsletter

For more information on Miscreation Toys:
website | blog | tumblr | shop | facebook | instagram | twitter

For more information on Violence Toy:
website | shop | facebook | instagram

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