As delicious Thick Shake Volcanoes erupt safely in the distance, Ronald McDonald and Grimace meander through a grove of Apple Pie Trees while Hamburglar tip-toes into the Hamburger Patch. Familiar especially to children of the ’70s and ’80s, this fictional McDonaldland setting became an emersive experience to those visiting McDonald’s, the restaurants’ indoors filled with decor of these creations and, for some select locations, their outdoors featuring various Playground equipment adorned with the characters’ likenesses. With these long-standing aspects phased out of existence around 1987, those that had been raised with these were introduced to a new, more mature world around the same time: the fictional town of Springfield, home of The Simpsons. And now these two locales of pop cultural nostalgia have collided, fusing together to create new comical characters, such as the appropriately named McGreasy, who stem from the mind of Aaron Craig, an artist whose strange career trajectory has led to this point.

Who is Aaron Craig?

Initially studying interior design, an unfulfilled Craig shifted his focus to a general fine arts education at The University of Newcastle in 2008. Refining his direction in 2009 towards graphic design, or “visual communications”, this was a degree that he ultimately completed at the Queensland College of Art in 2012. Throughout his education, the native Australian had experimented with digital collage but never took these works too seriously by his own admission, most of this time period’s output more associated with his frequently employed online username, Azza from Oz, rather than his true identity. After graduating, Craig began planning to open his own limited edition art company until a chance meeting with established artist Ben Frost presented a slightly different opportunity: to relaunch Stupid Krap, Frost’s fine art reproduction print house that had been founded in 2005.

Following the mid-2013 opening of the “New Stupid Krap” website, Craig’s personal art received attention in the debut issue of No Cure Magazine though he’d wait just over a full year to introduce his work to Stupid Krap collectors when he issued his limited edition Bird of Prey print. Designed using film negatives, black paint, spray paint, online imagery, typography, and a rendition of the Sorceress of Castle Grayskull‘s head and shawl that Craig drew in Abobe Illustrator, these layered Bird of Prey pieces of collage art emanated Craig’s fascination with vibrant colors, ’80s popular culture (particularly Masters of the Universe), and sultry women. And while the artist would shift away from employing his more risqué elements, the other two aspects embodied in Bird of Prey would define his next artistic evolution, one that followed Stupid Krap shifting towards releasing artist-designed lapel pins, a concept that they debuted at May of 2016’s PinZilla exhibition in Melbourne.
Rendering his own illustrations of pop culture character heads as lapel pins, these works by Craig continued his love of colorful decorations, many of the pieces being further infused with glitter in the enamel. Furthering this direction, Craig conceived his first sculptural work, the Grimator (2016) ‘custom’ action figure. Cast in translucent resin and hand-crafted by Underworld Customs, this limited edition of ten pieces (plus artist proofs) were packed with glitter, full-bodied interpretations of Craig’s lapel pin creations at the time. But by mid-February of 2018, Craig was ready to unveil his own inventive and seamless mash-ups of characters from The Simpsons and McDonandland, the McBartburgler and McGreasy pin designs, the latter of which the artist decided to evolve into his first true designer toy work.

Aaron Craig’s McGreasy Sculptural Form

Conceived by Craig as a mingling of the McDonandland characer Grimace‘s amorphous purple profile with some simple details reminiscent of Homer Simpson, this merging of these two slow-witted creations was digital sculpted by Evan Morgan, who brought the McGreasy concept to three-dimensional life. With a cartoonishly fun shape stylistically reminiscent of Pete Fowler‘s early designer toy works, Craig’s McGreasy was initially announced as an 8-inch tall resin creation that would be issued through Stupid Krap with an edition of 20 to 25 copies to be released for preorder in mid-2018. But as the date approached, it became apparent to Craig that demand for his design greatly exceeded the expected edition size, causing him to rethink how he intended to issue it. Partnering with Pobber for the manufacturing and distribution of McGreasy, the form will now be produced as a limited edition of 200 pieces that are cast in vinyl with painted detailing. And in a smart twist referencing McGreasy‘s conceptual origins, the initial pre-release for this roughly 6½-inch tall work from Pobber will take place on the 24th of July, or 24/7, noting the round-the-clock service that fast food are associated with. But don’t confuse McGreasy with being a piece of mass-produced commercialism, this sculpture remains a limited edition work of art.

Click Here to Acquire Aaron Craig’s McGreasy from Pobber on Tuesday, July 24th, 2018 at 10pm SGT.

For more information on Aaron Craig:
instagram | flickr

Luke Chueh's Wannabe Dunny from Kidrobot
In the spring of 1979, screenwriter Victor Miller was working on a movie script for his best friend, Sean S. Cunningham, an already accomplished director whose credits ranged from G-rated family romps to an R-rated sexploitation comedy-mystery. This new work was tentatively called Long Night at Camp Blood by Miller,…
Ascribed to everything from the unexplored depths of the Earth's oceans to the vastness of outer space, "The Great Unknown" tends most commonly to refer to the mystery of the afterlife. With the term appropriately used as the title of the Clutter Gallery's recent three-person exhibition, the white-walled space became…
Luke Chueh's Wannabe Dunny
Seymour, Wonder Goblin & Remjie's The Great Unknown
tagged in Aaron Craig