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10 Questions with… André LeRoy Davis

I'll be posting 10 Questions with... a number of artists who are taking part in the Aim, Destroy, Transform: Play for Change Toy Show , presented by Medialia Gallery & The Ethyr and taking place November 4-25 2017 in NYC.

Artist: André LeRoy Davis
Toy Submission: Operation
Twitter: @ALDreDay
Instagram: @aldreday

1. Where are you originally from?
I was born and raised in Brooklyn.

2. Who is your favorite artist (any artist, any medium)?
Norman Rockwell and Ernie Barnes

3. What was your favorite toy line as a child?
Mego and Shindana toys.

4. What's your most prized collectible?
An autographed Julius "Dr. J" Erving basketball and a signed Red Philadelphia 76'ers Starter Jacket.

5. What was the last film you watched?
Thor: Ragnarok

6. Do you unbox and display or keep MIB (mint in box)?
Both... or I usually buy 2..

7. What was the last book you read?
Encyclopedia of Black Comics

8. Star Trek or Star Wars?
Space 1999

9. What motto/creed do you try to live by?
Make 'em laugh, make 'em think...

10. What was the inspiration behind the piece that you produced for the Aim, Destroy, Transform: Play for Change toy show?
The so called President and the Game he's playing with he world!

10 Questions with… Selina Briggs (The Jelly Empire)

I'll be posting 10 Questions with... a number of artists who are taking part in the Aim, Destroy, Transform: Play for Change Toy Show , presented by Medialia Gallery & The Ethyr and taking place November 4-25 2017 in NYC.

Artist: Selina Briggs - The Jelly Empire
Toy Submission: Rusty Robots from The Jelly Empire
Instagram: @thejellyempire
 
1. Where are you originally from?

I'm originally from the UK, from a small town called Chapel-en-le-Frith. It's about an hours drive from Manchester, but I've been living New York for about 12 years and absolutely love it!
 
2. Who is your favorite artist (any artist, any medium)?
Oh wow! This question is a tough because I have so many. I don't really have a all-time favourite but I can name some of my current faves. I've always been a massive fan of Quentin Blake since reading Raold Dahl books when I was little; his illustrations make me happy. I'm also in love with Camilla d'Errico's neo-manga art style, Matt Dixons adorable robots, and a more recent discovery Camille Chew's mystic/mythology inspired artwork!
 
3. What was your favorite toy line as a child?
I played with any toy that was from a favourite cartoon.  I have 2 younger brothers so it was a lot of TMNT and Thundercats!
 
4. What's your most prized collectible?
I don't think I really have one. Recently I've started to get into buying more artwork over collectibles. The walls of my apartment are looking a little empty!
 
5. What was the last film you watched?
I think the last movie I watched at the cinema was Dr. Strange, but the last movie I watched at home was (for the 100th time) was Hot Fuzz!
 
6. Do you unbox and display or keep MIB (mint in box)?
I have no will power to leave MIB. Unbox everything!
 
7. What was the last book you read?
The last book I read was 'Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows' but the last comic book was a really funny graphic novel called 'Rat Queens'.
 
8. Star Trek or Star Wars?
Don't make me choose!  I love them both!
 
9. What motto/creed do you try to live by?
Goonies Never Say Die!
 
10. What was the inspiration behind the piece that you produced for the Aim, Destroy, Transform: Play for Change toy show?
I really love textures, especially weathered metals. The idea that time and environment can change the colour, and the feel of something, can be so beautiful. I wanted to apply that to my robots. Fresh out the factory they were probably shiny and clean and looked state of the art, but when neglected, forgotten about and left to the forces of nature and time, that shiny exterior decays and this transforms the robot itself into something else. It sounds sad but to me it's not. They evolved and became unique in appearance and continue to function amid all the stresses of time 🙂

10 Questions with… Nelson Asencio

I'll be posting 10 Questions with... a number of artists who are taking part in the Aim, Destroy, Transform: Play for Change Toy Show , presented by Medialia Gallery & The Ethyr and taking place November 4-25 2017 in NYC.

Artist: Nelson Asencio
Toy Submission: Chuki in Paper Tales... A Trump Tragedy
Twitter: @NelsonX
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nelsonx71/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nxasencio 
https://www.facebook.com/chukifriends/
https://www.facebook.com/Storybox-Ink-Studios

Deviant Art: https://nelsonx.deviantart.com
Website: www.storyboxink.com
www.chukiandfriends.com 
http://nelsonasencio.blogspot.com

1. Where are you originally from?  

I’m originally from ENY Brooklyn and my parents are from Ecuador.

2. Who is your favorite artist (any artist, any medium)?  

I have many but my top three are Frank Frazetta, Art Adams, and Katsuhiro Otomo.

3. What was your favorite toy line as a child? 

My favorite toyline was definitely the first Star Wars line. My amazing Aunt Nancy gave me the entire line and the Death Star station playset for Christmas that year. My Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle takes second place for sure. lol

4. What's your most prized collectible?  

Hmmm I kept some cool one of a kind prototypes from my Art Asylum days-a 12” Borg Drone we sculpted for playmates and Eminem one shot would be on that list.:)

5. What was the last film you watched? 

The last film I watched was “War of the Planet of the Apes” which I loved.

6.Do you unbox and display or keep MIB (mint in box)?

I like to keep MIB because I realize that I don’t play with toys anymore-lol

7. What was the last book you read? 

Do comics count? LOL If so, It would be Batman White Knight by Sean Murphy-highly recommended!

8. Star Trek or Star Wars? 

Both lol I love Star Wars for its fantasy aspect but I love Trek for its level of maturity and realism.  I am loving the new Discovery series and its main character Michael Burnham.

9. What motto/creed do you try to live by? 

Carpe Diem!  Need to do this more often.

10. What was the inspiration behind the piece that you produced for the Aim, Destroy, Transform: Play for Change toy show? 

My inspiration for my piece was to reflect on the state of our political system and the people we appoint to represent us.

10 Questions with… Asaf Harari

I'll be posting 10 Questions with... a number of artists who are taking part in the Aim, Destroy, Transform: Play for Change Toy Show , presented by Medialia Gallery & The Ethyr and taking place November 4-25 2017 in NYC.

Artist Name: Asaf Harari
Proper Title of your toy(s): Zion's Action FIgures
Your toy/submission: 4pack - 4 Israeli statesmen - Golda Meir, Ze'ev Jabotinsky, Yitzhak Rabin, and David Ben-Gurion
Facebook: Piece of History
Instagram: pisathistorya
Website: www.piece-of-history.com

1.Where are you originally from? 

Israel

2.Who is your favorite artist (any artist, any medium)? 

Jean Arp

3.What was your favorite toy line as a child? 

Ninja Turtles 

4.What's your most prized collectible? 

I don't collect

5.What was the last film you watched? 

The Arrival

6.Do you unbox and display or keep MIB (mint in box)?

I don't collect 

7.What was the last book you read? 

To long ago to remember...

8.Star Trek or Star Wars? 

Neither

9.What motto/creed do you try to live by? 

Expect nothing and appreciate everything

10. What was the inspiration behind the piece that you produced for the Aim, Destroy, Transform: Play for Change toy show? 

Although statesmen figurines are not something new, the figures which I've created are the first statesmen figurines in Israel, part of the Middle East, probably one of the most deadly conflict zone in the world. 

This dissonance between the pure purpose of the objects (toys) and the the narrative they represent (the old and ongoing fight for the state of Israel) makes you wonder about questions of identity, nationalism and the modern merchandising.

10 Questions with… Tara Nakashima Donahue

Co-Curator: Tara Nakashima Donahue (also Vs the Bad Guys)
Toy Submission: Senbazuru (1000 paper cranes)
 

1. Where are you originally from?
New York City, United States

2. Who is your favorite artist (any artist, any medium)?
Mashiko - sculptor, silkscreen, book artist, medallic artist, curator, gallery owner

3. What was your favorite toy line as a child?
Paper balloons from Japan

4. What's your most prized collectible?
Original LUTHER comic strip by Brumsic Brandon, Jr., dated 11/23/1971

5. What was the last film you watched?
The Conversation

6. Do you unbox and display or keep MIB (mint in box)?
Unbox and display

7. What was the last book you read?
Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older

8. Star Trek or Star Wars?
Both

9. What motto/creed do you try to live by?
If not now, when?

10. What was the inspiration behind the piece that you produced for the Aim, Destroy, Transform: Play for Change toy show?
My contribution of senbazuru - 1000 paper cranes - will be folded over the course if the exhibit and was inspired in several ways. Growing up with a Japanese mother, origami was an important part of my childhood. Folding patterns exercised imaginations, and taught me to value patience, process, and memory. It taught me that practice becomes skill, and that through stillness, deliberate movements can yield results. 

10 Questions with… Onjena Yo

I'll be posting 10 Questions with... a number of artists who are taking part in the Aim, Destroy, Transform: Play for Change Toy Show , presented by Medialia Gallery & The Ethyr and taking place November 4-25 2017 in NYC.

Co-Curator: Onjena Yo
Website: www.ethyr.me
Toy Submission: Multilingual Alphabet "What's on your fridge?" faux fridge & poster

1. Where are you originally from?
My Dad was from Pittsburgh and served in the Air Force. He met and married my Mom in South Korea. I was born in Texas but raised in Ohio (military brat).

2. Who is your favorite artist (any artist, any medium)?
Grey Williamson, creator, visual artist, sculptor, writer

3. What was your favorite toy line as a child?
Barbies and Transformers

4. What's your most prized collectible?
Renegade Obama bust by Grey Williamson & Kilroy III

5. What was the last film you watched?
Turner & Hooch

6. Do you unbox and display or keep MIB (mint in box)?
Unbox and display

7. What was the last book you read?
Sectors by Harule Stokes

8. Star Trek or Star Wars?
Star Trek

9. What motto/creed do you try to live by?
Be kind, bring peace and protect the vulnerable.

10. What was the inspiration behind the piece that you produced for the Aim, Destroy, Transform: Play for Change toy show?
The idea for my submission was inspired by working through the shame of having forgotten how to speak/read my mother's language. My siblings and I were semi-bilingual as kids but when we began school, our mother wanted us to focus solely on English, a decision she now regrets. The Multilingual Alphabet “What's on your fridge?” is a bite-sized and ordinary way any busy adult or child can start to learn a new language or six. The accompanying poster features alphabets from six languages: Arabic, English, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean & Spanish.

10 Questions with… Reactor88

I'll be posting 10 Questions with... a number of artists who are taking part in the Aim, Destroy, Transform: Play for Change Toy Show , presented by Medialia Gallery & The Ethyr and taking place November 4-25 2017 in NYC.

Artist/Toy Maker: Reactor-88
Toy: Mini Maori Misfortune Cat
Website: www.reactor88.com
Twitter: @reactor88
Instagram: @reactor88
Facebook: www.facebook.com/reactor88art

Where are you originally from?:
I’m born and raised Los Angeles.

Who is your favorite artist (any artist, any medium)?:
There’s so much great art out there spanning many mediums past and present- it’s way to hard to pick just one. Historically I’m a big fan of the Italian Renaissance, the Dutch Masters, as well as anyone that passed through the Hudson River School (Thomas Cole, Frederic Church, etc.). As far as more contemporary art, I like Ed Ruscha, James Turrell, and Murakami. I’m also a big fan of all the Disney artists like Eyvind Earle and Tyrus Wong.

What was your favorite toy line as a child?:
That would be a toss up between Lego and Star Wars. Side note- I still have all my original Kenner Star Wars toys from when I was a kid.

What's your most prized collectible?:
A box set of vintage Walt Disney mini-card games from the 1940s

What was the last film you watched?:
The last big box-office movie I saw was Wonder Woman (I don’t get out to the theater that often…) I do watch a lot of random movies via Amazon Prime while I’m painting or doing something else productive. The last thing I watched on there was the series Tin Star.

Do you unbox and display or keep MIB (mint in box)?:
Unbox and display of course!

What was the last book you read?:
Vessel by Andrew J. Morgan

Star Trek or Star Wars?:
Star Wars

What motto/creed do you try to live by?:
“One day at a time..."

What was the inspiration behind the piece that you produced for the Aim, Destroy, Transform: Play for Change toy show?:
My piece was inspired by Ta Moko (Maori facial & body scaring/tattoo). I’m a big fan of the art and design of Ta Moko, so I wanted to pay tribute by creating my own stylized representation of it (keeping with the general design cues), that would fit with the Misfortune Cat form.

10 Questions with… SpellDoctor

I'll be posting 10 Questions with... a number of artists who are taking part in the Aim, Destroy, Transform: Play for Change Toy Show , presented by Medialia Gallery & The Ethyr and taking place November 4-25 2017 in NYC.

Artist/Toy Maker: SpellDoctor
Toy: Baron Samedi Juju & Maman Brigitte Juju
Website: www.spelldoctormagic.com
Instagram: @enchanting_spell_maker

Where are you originally from?:
Mixed background - Asia, Middle East & Africa and Europe.

Who is your favorite artist (any artist, any medium)?:
Salvador Dali

What was your favorite toy line as a child?:
Didn’t have store bought toys.

What's your most prized collectible?:
Mayan artifact (small piece depicting a zodiac)

What was the last film you watched?:
Cloud Atlas

Do you unbox and display or keep MIB (mint in box)?:
Unbox

What was the last book you read?:
Lost book of Enki

Star Trek or Star Wars?:
Star Wars

What motto/creed do you try to live by?:
“Treat ALL in a way you wanted to be treated (that includes animals too)”

What was the inspiration behind the piece that you produced for the Aim, Destroy, Transform: Play for Change toy show?:
Voodoo has a largely undeserved sinister reputation. The irony is that voodoo’s most known features (voodoo dolls for inflicting pain or zombies) have a little to do with its actual practices.

10 Questions with… Emily Bee

I'll be posting 10 Questions with... a number of artists who are taking part in the Aim, Destroy, Transform: Play for Change Toy Show , presented by Medialia Gallery & The Ethyr and taking place November 4-25 2017 in NYC.

Artist/Toy Maker: Emily Bee
Toy: Shock
Website: https://www.behance.net/emilybee
Twitter: @emily_bee_

Where are you originally from?:
Canada

Who is your favorite artist (any artist, any medium)?:
Sainer (Etam Cru)

What was your favorite toy line as a child?:
Any toys that glow.

What's your most prized collectible?:
Kaijin & Super7 toys

What was the last film you watched?:
Moonlight

Do you unbox and display or keep MIB (mint in box)?:
Display them!

What was the last book you read?:
Pond by Claire-Louise Bennett

Star Trek or Star Wars?:
Star Trek TNG

What motto/creed do you try to live by?:
“Cat Videos and Chill"

What was the inspiration behind the piece that you produced for the Aim, Destroy, Transform: Play for Change toy show?:
Don't let something painful break you, let it empower you.

10 Questions with… Eric Nocella Diaz

I'll be posting 10 Questions with... a number of artists who are taking part in the Aim, Destroy, Transform: Play for Change Toy Show , presented by Medialia Gallery & The Ethyr and taking place November 4-25 2017 in NYC.

Artist/Toy Maker: Eric Nocella Diaz
Toy: Dragonfly 2.0
Website: ArgonautResins
Twitter: @ArgonautResins
Instagram: @ArgonautResins

Where are you originally from?:
USA

Who is your favorite artist (any artist, any medium)?:
Juan Gimenez - www.juangimenez.com

What was your favorite toy line as a child?:
G I Joe (old school 12 inch action figures)

What's your most prized collectible?:
Leap Of Faith fine art sculpture by artist Thomas Blackshear - www.blackshearonline.com

What was the last film you watched?:
Wonder Woman

Do you unbox and display or keep MIB (mint in box)?:
Toys I didn’t make I unbox and display, toys I sculpted that made it to the shelves stay unboxed.

What was the last book you read?:
Event by David Lynn Golemon

Star Trek or Star Wars?:
Star Trek AND Star Wars, I need both!

What motto/creed do you try to live by?:
“What goes around comes around."

What was the inspiration behind the piece that you produced for the Aim, Destroy, Transform: Play for Change toy show?:
The metallic gold Dragonfly. When I look at it it long enough, I see soft and firm at the same time.