The term Demogorgon might be recognizable as the nickname the kids in Stranger Things give The Monster that exists in The Upside Down, a name they appropriated from a demon prince in the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons. Though it originated long before its first D&D appearance in 1976, as Demogorgon was a powerful primordial being ascribed to Greek mythology, though it most likely was a misreading of the word demiurge. Regardless of the lineage it came from, Demogorgon was chosen by artist Takahiro Komuro as the title of his demonic, chimerical sculpture design.

TkoM & The Birth of Demogorgon

From 2009 to 2011, while he was earning his master’s degree in fine art & sculpture from the Tokyo University of the Arts, Takahiro Komuro evolved his personal artistic direction. Using the guise TkoM, he crafted fantastical forms in fiberglass, superbly smooth sculptures finished with a colorful overlay of urethane resin paint, giving a touch of the cartoonish to his otherworldly designs. Over time, the hints of horror within his pieces became more prominent, leading to such memorable works as Doublethink, which debuted in fiberglass in 2013 and in soft vinyl the following year, and Demogorgon.

The maquette, or sculptor’s small preliminary model, for Demogorgon was first shared online publicly by TkoM in September of 2013, the artist having been inspired by various mythological sources in the design: a snake-like arm concept taken from the Aztec goddess Coatlicue, a horned head and cloven hooves like the Greek’s Minotaur, and a scorpion stinger ampendage à la the Persian’s Manticore. Originally calling the beast “Mishmash”, presumably referencing its hybrid nature reminiscent of a Chimera, TkoM settled on the name Demogorgon and began working on a full-size rendition in water clay by the end of September, having completed three unique pieces of the design in fiberglass the following month.

The Fiberglass Renditions of Demogorgon

Though finished in October of 2013, these three one-of-a-kind fiberglass versions — Demogorgon #1, Demogorgon #2, and Demogorgon #3 — weren’t publicly displayed until the following year, when they were part of the Kiss The Heart #3 window installation at the Isetan Shinjuku Store in Tokyo, Japan. Exhibited from January 22nd through February 17th, 2014, this trio was joined by TkoM’s plywood sculpture Mushussu (2014), which was theoretically named after the Babylonian dragon mušḫuššu, and featured paper cut artwork by SexualYoukai (Matt Fisher) as a backdrop.

The Soft Vinyl Renditions of Demogorgon

In May of 2014, TkoM revealed he was sculpting a smaller version of the Demogorgon design for production in sofubi (soft vinyl). This rendition was shown completed in June of 2014, the design having been altered from its previous 17¾ in. tall fiberglass incarnation with smaller horns, a more protruding tongue element in the beast’s belly, the upsidedown hand outline removed from the backside, and it’s entire form covered with a wart-like texturing. While the fiberglass version was comprised of four interlocking, non-articulating parts, this new 7⅞ in. tall soft vinyl iteration would have ten articulating pieces to it. After this initial reveal, the first vinyl version wasn’t seen publicly until May of 2016, though in a color scheme (pictured to the right) that apparently remains unique to this test copy.

TkoM × Mihara Yasuhiro’s Demogorgon

The first officially released version of TkoM’s Demogorgon in vinyl was a collaboration with Japanese fashion designer Mihara Yasuhiro, owner of MIHARAYASUHIRO. Known for his exquisite shoe constructions, this Demogorgon rendition was painted to mimic the leather Mihara uses for his company’s pieces. Issued on September 10th, 2016 as an in-person only release at the Medicom Toy Plus store, it is popularly believed that this color scheme was hand-painted in an edition of less than 10 pieces.

TkoM’s Demogorgon #1 & Demogorgon #2

The collaborative design was quickly followed by two paint scheme reminiscent of TkoM’s fiberglass versions, these sofubi editions resetting the title numbering, making them Demogorgon #1 and Demogorgon #2. Offered at the end of September 2016, Demogorgon #1‘s milky white vinyl body perfectly suits the vibrant array of paints coating it, the darker face coloration slightly obfuscating the sculpted details there.
In contrast, March 2017’s Demogorgon #2 began with a brown soft vinyl base, a more muted selection of tones decorating it and highlighting all the work’s details. Both issued in editions limited to 30 pieces, this beautifully monstrous sculpture is hauntingly memorable, every bit as much as the various beasts it shares its name with.

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