Though former graffiti writer VISEone (Wolfgang Ohlig) returned to the visual arts upon discovering the designer toy movement in 2007,
VISEone's Comic Stripped Hulk Munny, 2010

Photo: VISEone

it wasn’t until his Comic Stripped series that his hand-painted vinyl sculptures began receiving international attention. First introduced in May of 2010, the artist’s Comic Stripped concept involved modifying the base vinyl into something that harkened to a comic book, cartoon, or comic strip character, cracks along its form allowing carefully pasted panels from said mediums to be exposed. Achieved by pristinely placing epoxy clay to create depth for the cracked areas to reside in, this approach was first seen on the Superman themed, green Kryptonite colored Comic Stripped #1 (pictured) and resurfaced a month later on the Fantastic Four based Comic Stripped #2, which itself resembled The Thing, both of which were built upon Kidrobot produced Munny forms. But VISEone’s next entries into the series, the Comic Stripped Dunny pieces, inadvertantly created a new conceptual line for him explore.

VISEone’s Comic Stripped Dunny Pieces

Evolving the Comic Stripped series concept in June of 2010, the four unique Comic Stripped Dunny pieces appeared to ooze out from specially made paint tubes. Suspended within the epoxy clay issuing forth are Dunny vinyl forms, each one decorated with comic book based text; the two complete figures having word balloons upon them, the two partial Dunny pieces adorned with sound effects. And three of the tubes declare the contents to be the “Finest Comic Stripped Ink Since 2010”, while the final one — which uses only the figure’s body within it’s smallish globular — simply reads “Squeeze Harder Sucka!” Due to the demand from collectors for this design concept, VISEone opted to explore it seperately from Comic Stripped, abandoning the elements that attached this idea to the previous series and focusing instead on the aspect of pieces dripping from tubes. And while he originally titled this new line Dunnys Out Of The Tubes, he ultimately renamed them as the Tube Dunny series.

VISEone’s Tube Dunny Series

The first Tube Dunny made its public debut at Brooklyn’s Halcyon in December of 2010, as part of the Genuine Artikle curated The Almighty Dunny Show. Announced to be part of an edition of “twenty to thirty”, this release would ultimately consist of 35 pieces that were randomly sent in either the Black, White, or Blue colorations. With each one’s epoxy clay sculpted drippage being done completely by hand, an emphasis on uniqueness even within similarly colored editions was placed on this as well as all subsequent editions in this series. There were four more editions in the Tube Dunny series in 2011, including the Outland Red (ed. of 8) and Juicy Pink (ed. of 4) versions. Expanding the idea beyond paint tubes, 2011 also saw VISEone exploring other container concepts, such as Zombie Juice (ed. of 3) and Biohazard (ed. of 6), the latter having debuted as part of the artist’s solo exhibition Comic Stripped! at Amsterdam’s Outland. Smartly twisting the form even further, these lethal liquid versions had the Dunny form positioned upside down, providing the perception that these already lifeless things were dead.

VISEone’s Other Tube-based Works

Of course, VISEone didn’t restrict himself to using the Dunny form alone within his Tube series concept. Created during the same time period as his Tube Dunny versions in 2011 were two Hello Kitty themed editions, Tube Kitty and Pink Tube Kitty (both ed. of 2), as well as The Black Soul of the Scavengers, an edition of 3 using differing pieces from Kathie Olivas‘ 2008 Scavengers series: Winston, Masao, and Dexter. Around this same time, he crafted the unique Mixed Kitty piece for Domy BooksCast in Plastic exhibition, two tubes issuing forth Hello Kitty illustration adorned ooze over the Sanrio character’s form. VISEone also used the Tube concept on a Playsam produced Streamliner Classic wooden car, intended for Super7‘s Playsam 500 exhibition in April of 2012, though the finished work with its wood tone ooze was not displayed for reasons unknown. Continuing forward, VISEone gave the series a food based twist with the Classic Dunny Mustard and the Tomato Paste Dunny, both made in editions of 10, and the one-of-a-kind O-No! Wasabi piece that used Andrew BellsO-No Sushi (2009) as a base.

Similar VISEone Concepts

Throughout this timeframe VISEone experimented with a similar theme, beginning with the Can Dunny (ed. of 3) dating back to when he was still finishing the first edition of Tube Dunny pieces in January of 2011. Using a larger 8-inch tall Dunny as the base, this variation had the form spilling out of an opened, fullsize paint can. One year later the Process Black Dunny edition, limited to 6 pieces, would feature the drip texture coated forms packaged inside of paint cans, contextualizing them as the last dregs of paint contained within. Revisiting the appearance of the Can Dunny, VISEone’s Mystique was a fiberglass statue created for the Elephant Parade‘s Trier-Luxembourg 2013 event, the life-size baby elephant base being coated with the paint spilling forth rather being part of it.

VISEone’s Tube Dunny-inspired Production Pieces

Due to the success of the Tube Dunny and similar concepts, VISEone opted to model his first major vinyl production upon the idea, creating the Tube Monster design, a drippy monster issuing from a tube design that was released at the end of 2012 in three color schemes, each limited to 330 pieces: the Black Edition, the Tomato Edition, and the Zombie Juice version. Lacking the juxtoposition created between consumer product aesthetics and hand-crafted artistry, this missing aspect was imbued into the Tube Monster with two mid-2013 editions, the Red Carbon (ed. of 4) and Black Carbon (ed. of 10). For his second major vinyl production, VISEone continued the Tube Monster premise with Zombie Gooo!, depicting a rotting hand oozing forth from the tube. Manufactured in two color schemes, Green (ed. of 450) and Yellow (ed. of 100), these would be the artist’s last designer toy works before shifting his artistic focus, leaving another Tube Monster design, with a grotesquely open maw, digitally sculpted but unrealized.

And while all appearances indicated that 2013 was the final year that VISEone would be active within the designer toy movement, he has recently announced that he’ll once again be working upon the Munny form for an upcoming solo exhibition opening on September 30th, 2017. Will this piece manifest as part of the artist’s Comic Stripped series or will it be in the likeness of his Tube Dunny design? While no indicators have surfaced yet, it seems most likely that it will be something wholly new, inspired and influenced by his added years of active artistic experience.

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