Andrew Bell’s Kill Kat

While there are a plethora of subjects that British-born artist Andrew Bell delves into through his works, I’m immediately drawn to his more food-based pieces. For some reason, his signature dark sense of humor just resonates with me slightly stronger in his edible-inspired concepts. Like, for instance, his new Kill Kat vinyl sculpture, which we’ll be discussing today.

A Brief History of Andrew Bell

But first, let’s talk about Bell’s overall career. He relocated to New York City in 1996, freelancing for Marvel Comics for several years while he attended the School of Visual Arts. Then, beginning in 2000, he served as a senior designer in Nickelodeon‘s New York office. But it was during this time at Nickelodeon, in 2004 to be precise, that he self-produced his first designer toy, the television screen-faced creation known as GROOB. And, I suspect, that outing played a large part in his decision to quit his job and focus exclusively on his own work the following year.
While Bell has created a stellar oeuvre between then and now, I’d like to take a quick stop in 2009 when he issued the O-No Sushi as well as its follow-up, O-No Sashimi, two years later. Cartoonishly expressive vinyl sculptures, these were somberly witty parodies of Japanese delicacies. Both branded with the O-No logo, this fictional brand was remarked therein to be “a fine foods company”. And one, it seems, that has since expanded into the realm of candy treats, as the Kill Kat‘s wrapper declares it as a product of the O-No Food Company.

My Impressions of Andrew Bell’s Kill Kat

Mind you, the O-No Food reference isn’t the only connection to Bell’s past works found within the Kill Kat; it is also the first factory-produced sculpture from his Killer Candy line. The Killer Candy series debuted with Bell’s hand-sculpted Zombie Candy Corn pieces in October of 2011, a total of four unique works made from the concept, which Bell had evolved from an illustration he did in 2003, titled The Return of the Children of the Candy Corn of the Damned II.
Then in 2012, for Stranger Factory‘s Halloween-centered Bewitching II exhibition, Bell added to this scary treats idea by hand-making a single Kill Kat sculpture. And he’d revisit this form again the following year with a Green Tea Terror rendition as well as adding the Kisses of Death pieces to the Killer Candy series.
Now looking at this first vinyl edition in the line, it’s roughly the same 6-inch height as the one-of-a-kind sculpture from 2012 that it’s modeled after. While this vinyl rendition has rather limited articulation, it is an ample amount for this brilliant sculpture’s design. Inspired by Nestlé‘s popular chocolate-covered wafer bars, the Kill Kat‘s slightly melted depiction takes the form of a conjoined twin monstrosity.
And while their expressions appear relatively simple, there is a wonderfully complex realism to them as well. Especially on the closed mouth side, very slight indentations stemming from the overbite giving a true-to-life feel of one biting their own lip.
But let’s be honest, half of the joy of this work lies in its smartly created packaging. Referencing the aesthetic of an actual Kit Kat wrapper, these are proclaimed to be “Evil Wafers under Demonic Possession”.
Repeatedly citing the Biblical number of the Beast, 666, on the backside, I love some of the smaller details, like stating this piece is “under license from the Dark Lord of the 9th Level”, an allusion to the Devil’s location in Dante‘s Inferno.
Returning to the front side of the wrapper, this “1 in 10 harbor a Dark Secret” announcement is regarding the fact that 1 out of every 10 packages randomly contained a dark chocolate colored rendition complete with glow-in-the-dark eyes and teeth. And while it seems plausible that a green tea colored version will be made available, I do wonder if the holes in its feet are intended for a possible display base to eventually be issued.
The Kill Kat vinyl edition debuted at 2017’s New York Comic Con and has since become available from a variety of sources, including the artist himself.

Editions of the “Kill Kat” sculpture [show]

For more information on Andrew Bell:
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