Thursday, January 31, 2008

the art of david flores

Looking at David Flores's art is like staring at a stained glass window. Clearly defined lines separate solid colors of different shades or hues. Up close, you admire the precision, the craftsmanship. From afar, you enjoy the subject, the vision.

The difference is, you don't see his art inside any dimly-lit church – they're out on the streets: on skateboards, on covers of music zines, on t-shirts worn by celebs like Paris Hilton and skate legend Chad Muska, on tote bags, basebal caps, Oakley shades, Vans footwear, and even Kidrobot designer toys! You also catch them on store windows and hip art galleries in California and Tokyo.

That's the nice thing about David's work – it's accessible, affordable, useful, and sometimes, even machine-washable! It's art for the real world, if you ask me. :-)

(Top) The XLarge Bearbrick by David Flores was commissioned by XLarge, the famous hip-hop fashion store in L.A. where Ice Cube and the Beastie Boys' Mike D get their stuff! XLarge first opened on Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles. Now it has branches all over Japan and Taiwan.

Info from,, / flores art pics from

Saturday, January 19, 2008

where can i find be@rbricks?

Guys, can you help me – Carrie, Dominique, Sunny, Fiona, Jake, Stu, Johny, Lil Lam, Erueti, Littleoslo... everyone out there!

People have been e-mailing me, wanting to know where to buy Bearbricks in Asia, the US, Europe, Middle East, South America, etcetera.

If you know any store that sells Bearbricks, kindly give me the store name, complete address (city and country), and telephone number (if any). You may event want to include a review of these stores if you like – that can be very helpful for others. I'd like to make list of all Bearbrick retailers around the world, courtesy of all the readers of this blog. :-)

E-mail me at or simply comment on this entry – thank you very much!

Monster Bearbrick: The bear at the top is designed by the Japanese toy retailer Monster Japan, in celebration of its 15th Anniversary. The store is located at Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0021 Ebisunishi 1-6-1 / Telephone: (03) 3463-3555

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Saturday, January 12, 2008

andy, marilyn, and that crazy valerie

Andy Warhol, the famous protagonist of pop art and creator of the iconic serigraph portraits of Marilyn Monroe (below), had his share of caustic critics – and deadly enemies – during his lifetime.

One such enemy was a woman named Valerie Solanas, a radical feminist writer best known for the SCUM Manifesto (Society for Cutting Up Men), an essay on patriarchal culture which advocates the creation of an all-female society. I've attached a pic of her at the bottom, left.

She shot Warhol on June 3, 1968.

That day, she waited for him at The Factory, Warhol's New York City art studio. When he arrived, she fired three shots at him. Then she shot his companion, art critic Mario Amaya, and aimed at Warhol's manager, Fred Hughes, but her gun jammed.

Later that evening, she turned herself in to the police, confessing that Warhol had 'too much control over her life'.

Investigation revealed that Valerie had been demanding Warhol, who was also a indie filmmaker, to return her script entitled 'Up Your Ass' (about a man-hating prostitute and a panhandler) that she had shown to him in 1966 in the hope of having it produced.

Unfortunately, Andy had lost it.

And so the constant hassling and stalking began. And ended with a deadly bang.

Warhol survived the tragedy, but Valerie didn't. After her arrest and subsequent release, she moved in and out of mental institutions. On occasions, she persisted to stalk her nemesis and got arrested again. In 1988, at the age of 52, she died embittered and insane.

Yes, an enemy maybe terrifying – but I tell you, hate can the deadliest adversary of all.

(Top, right) Series 15's Andy Warhol Bearbrick (with his self-portrait on its back) is an 'Artist' bear which is hard to find. On its chest is a reproduction of his 1986 painting, 'Repent and sin no more!' Hmmm... was that intended for Valerie?

Valerie pic/info from Wikipedia & / Marilyn serigraph painting from

Sunday, January 6, 2008

starry, starry be@rbrick

I live on the 17th floor of a building that stands out in a sea of low lying houses. When I moved in seven years ago, it was the 31st of December, right before the New Year's Eve celebrations. I remember opening a bottle of champagne in the balcony while my friends and I watched a spectacular fireworks display, care of an obviously rich neighbor.

From the ground, rockets of light zoomed upwards in succession, each exploding into millions of twinkling little stars that swirled and danced – right across my balcony. It was like having front seats to a show!

I will always remember how magnificent the sky looked that evening. My visual peg? Vincent Van Gogh's 'Starry Night' (below).

Today, elaborate pyrotechnic shows are commonplace; major celebrations usually end with one. But before Van Gogh painted the famous night sky in 1889, such visual splendor was seen only through his eyes, across the window of his bedroom in Saint Remy, France. I thank him for sharing this unforgettable vision with all of us. :-)

'Starry, starry night
Flaming flowers that brightly blaze

Swirling clouds in violet haze

Reflect in Vincent's eyes of china blue

Colors changing hue

Morning fields of amber grain

Weathered faces lined in pain

Are soothed beneath the artist's loving hand'

Excerpt from the Don McLean song 'Vincent' from / 'Starry Night' pic from

(Top, left) The AG Stars Bearbrick (commissioned by the Stitch Lifestyle Store in Tokyo) is based on a 1971 pattern created by Alexander Girard (1907-1993), one of the foremost textile designers of the 20th century.

Aside from being an architect, interior designer, and filmmaker, Girard was a serious art collector. He and his wife amassed a remarkable collection of folk art, popular art, toys, and textiles from around the world. Most of them (like the wooden dolls on the right which he designed) are now part of the Girard Wing at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA.

Girard info from Wikipedia,, / Wooden dolls pic from Dishin' Dat.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

it's time to transform!

The Bearbrick you see on the left is based on Optimus Prime, the Transformer robot on the right.

Here's the background story: Optimus Prime is the lead character in the Transformers universe. He commands the Autobots, a group of heroic robots from the planet Cybertron who wage war on the evil Decepticons for control of their home world. During battle, he transforms from a 'cab-over' truck (bottom pic) to a giant robot.

According to Wikipedia, "Optimus Prime is... a compassionate character who... has dedicated himself to the protection of all life, particularly the inhabitants of Earth; he will battle his foes with unyielding resolve to uphold this belief."

A hero like Optimus Prime is made of steel, and thus, powerful enough to fight any universal force. For mortals like us, making a diff in this world may not be as easy a task – but that doesn't mean it can't be done.

But first, we must transform. From being trucks that simply follow the road, we must transform into robots that leap through the air and fire laser guns at enemies – robots that never tire and never stop fighting.

Here's to a year of great transformations! Happy 2008! :-)

Original Optimus Prime pic from / Truck pic from