Tuesday, December 30, 2008

deMeng de los Muertos 2009

Guess what is being planned as I type: deMeng de los Muertos 2009. We had such a great year (once again) in 2008 that Colleen and I are planning another trip. The specifics such as this year's Day of the Dead activities and tours and are still being worked out but I thought I'd throw a bone (no pun intended) your way. Here's the 2009 class description:

Calaveras y Diablos, y Santos…Oh My!

Translation: Skeletons and Devils and Saints…Oh My. My head spins every time I visit Oaxaca and see all the Day of the Dead toys and figurines made by the local artisans. I have a number of such purchases in my collection, such as a group of drunken diablos, a skeletal Frida on a bicycle, and of course my various Virgin of Soledad statues. So on this year's trek to the magical city of Oaxaca, Mexico, I thought that we would explore the process of doll and figurine making, and I should say, from my standpoint…the crazier the better. We will use everything from broken toys and found objects, to bizarre items like eyes and wings and halos from the surreal religious store La Ninas de las Posada, to handmade items using epoxy clay. For those who want to create little homes for your peeps, we will go over making a little nichos, as well as some metal embossing techniques for adornment. In this class you will be required to play…no fuddy-duddying allowed (and yes I did make up that word). As with previous years we will also create a class ofrenda (memorial shrine) to honor those we have lost and want to remember. Hope you decide to join me at my favorite place in the world, during my favorite festival…Dia de los Muertos…oh my!

for more info or to get on the list contact:
Colleen Darling
colleen950@hotmail.com
Home 805-688-1221
Cell 805-448-1509

Oaxaca 2009...deMeng de los Muertos

Hey gang,
Guess what is being planned as I type: deMeng de los Muertos 2009. We had such a great year (once again) in 2008 that Colleen and I are planning another trip. The specifics such as this year's Day of the Dead activities and tours and are still being worked out but I thought I'd throw a bone (no pun intended) your way. Here's the 2009 class description:


deMeng de los Muertos 2009


Calaveras y Diablos, y Santos…Oh My!

Translation: Skeletons and Devils and Saints…Oh My. My head spins every time I visit Oaxaca and see all the Day of the Dead toys and figurines made by the local artisans. I have a number of such purchases in my collection, such as a group of drunken diablos, a skeletal Frida on a bicycle, and of course my various Virgin of Soledad statues. So on this year’s trek to the magical city of Oaxaca, Mexico, I thought that we would explore the process of doll and figurine making, and I should say, from my standpoint…the crazier the better. We will use everything from broken toys and found objects, to bizarre items like eyes and wings and halos from the surreal religious store La Ninas de las Posada, to handmade items using epoxy clay. For those who want to create little homes for your peeps, we will go over making a little nichos, as well as some metal embossing techniques for adornment. In this class you will be required to play…no fuddy-duddying allowed (and yes I did make up that word). As with previous years we will also create a class ofrenda (memorial shrine) to honor those we have lost and want to remember. Hope you decide to join me at my favorite place in the world, during my favorite festival…Dia de los Muertos…oh my!
If you're interested drop Colleen Darling a line and get on the listcontact:
Colleen Darling
colleen950@hotmail.com
Home 805-688-1221
Cell 805-448-1509

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry T-Rex-mas

I don't remember my first Xmas, but I do remember the first Xmas that I remember. I must have been about 3 or 4 and I recall waking very very early and sneaking out to the Xmas tree. Everything was dark except for the blue lights of the tree...this was my mothers kick, blue lights with flocking. All I could see was the silhouette of a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton against the tree. Seemed huge then...now I know that it was about 5 feet tall. Quickly I ran into my parents room and said: I think Santa has been here (bear in mind I'm not certain that my grammar was quite this good but you get the picture). My parents get up (by the way my father is pretty much the father in Christmas Story), turn on the lights and low and behold a Styrofoam T-Rex with a little sign with red letters that read: REX. Up until recently, my parents would bring out old Rex and set him up next to the tree, usually with a Santa hat or Xmas bulb eyes. The only reason that Rex no longer comes out on the holiday is that with time his bones eventually deteriorated and packing tape could seem to hold him together anymore. He is still around, but up in a box in my folks attic...they don't want to throw him away...he spent to many holidays with us. It would be rude.


Xmas Toys for Girls and Boys
As promised, I said I would post some of the new toys on display at Tsunami in Missoula. So here they are:
This one is called "Canadian Fire Truck, aka Hoser"

Next is the one is my version of American Chopper.
She is called "Easy Rider"

And of course what's not to love about a pig-boy?
I call him "This Little Piggy Had Bones"


Ho Ho Ho....Ha Ha HaSantaland on the Holidays on Ice audiobook is a must! You must listen to the Santaland Diaries. I was recently recommended this by Debbie Bruggeman Shaner after mentioning listening to David Sedaris in the studio. I have to admit this audiobook is my favorite...thanks Deb. Its about his days working as an elf in Macy's Santaland. You must download it! You must! Of course you could also read it, but there is something about David Sedaris's delivery that makes it all the funnier. Check it out here at Amazon for the CD: Holidays on Ice . Or you can download it at Itunes.

Okay, signing off...Happy Holidays everyone. Stay warm...or if you south of the equator stay cool.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Gruss von Krampus


Okay kids hopefully everyone is playing nice out there....if not...big trouble from Krampus. Last year about this time I did a post all about Krampus....sort of the bad Santa. He took care of all the bad kids while Santa dealt with the good ones. Lumps of coal would be the least of your worries. It was sort of a good cop/bad cop relationship.

I found this photo...I dub him to be the Baron von KrampusI don't think the above photo is supposed to be Krampus....but he should be. He is one of the award winners of the mustache championship or world cup or whatever they call it. I'm just saying if this guy showed up on Xmas...I'd be a little concerned.

So assuming you have been good or you know someone else who has, I just wanted to let you know that a few galleries where my work is available over the holiday

First
Gallerie Chiz
5831 Ellsworth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
E-Mail & General Information: galchiz@hotmail.com I just sent Ellen some of my Matchbox Nichosif you're in Missoula
Tsunami
Susan@lepetitoutre.com
101 S Higgins Ave
Missoula, MT 59802
(406) 541-8699
Susan has my collection of deMented toys. My version of the Krampus...sort of a pig-man Krampus.
Along with the collection you've seen in previous posts, I just brought her a weird boy in a pig suit, a strange firetruck man and a cyclopian-boat-bike-woman-with groom (yes its true...that is what it is). Photos to come later.
Also...Stop in also if you want to sign up for the Jan 25th class.

Happy Holidays

Oh...coming soon...the class descrip for Oaxaca for 2009...yes we are a go!


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Six Million Dollar...man! and some Missoula stuff

Howdy,
So today's hand surgery went swell...no pun intended...so far no pain. Wheeled me in...a bunch of iodine on my arm...a whirl of the drill...and out the door. The surgery itself was 6 minutes...the metal post they put in my finger comes out in 6 weeks. I had them do a few modifications though
...better, stronger, faster.

Thought a Dremel attachment might come in handy...once again no pun intended. Okay... it was intended.Hey speaking of the Six Million Dollar Man...remember the episode(s) with Bigfoot? Well, now I find out after all these years that they actually mad an action figure for him...if you recall he was really a robot.

Okay now...speaking of action figures....

deMented Toys Workshop in Missoula
coming Sunday Jan 25th. TSusan of Tsunami is helping me put together a workshop in my lil' ol town. She is also showing some of my dudes in her store as well...so if you're local or passing through stop in and see some deMented toys.

If you're interested heres some of the skinny

Island of deMented Toys
Description of workshop:

Remember the Island of Misfit Toys in the claymation epic "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer". Well that's nothing compared to what we're going to do in this class. You're going to bring all sorts of parts and pieces from a variety of toys. You round up everything from Barbies to Tonka trucks, to snow globes, to wind-up zeppelins, and reassemble them "into something rich and strange" (to quote Shakespeare's The Tempest). Don't worry if your toys aren't dismantled yet…we can take care of that…bwwwwahahahahahaha (evil laugh - in case you were wondering). Using various techniques of assemblage we will turn our classroom in to a laboratory of the weird. Barbie and Ken will never be the same….as I said before ….bwwwwahahahaha.
Student Level : All skill levels, age (18 up)

Date: Sunday, January 25th 10am-5 spm

Location: Zootown Arts Community Center 235 North 1st Street West (Northside Missoula) www.zootownarts.com 549-7555

Enrollment Contact and Info:

Susan at Tsunami Susan@lepetitoutre.com
101 S Higgins Ave
Missoula, MT 59802
(406) 541-8699

or

Michael deMeng assemblage@michaeldemeng.com



Zootown Arts

The place where I'm teaching the above mentioned workshop is at a great new place right around the corner from my home. Zootown Arts which is a community center that offers art classes, artist studios, selling venues and tons more. If your in town check them out. I think its there hope they can turn the Northside into a great little arts neighborhood. That would be grand! Here's some info on them

Zootown Arts Community Center

235 North 1st Street West (Northside Missoula)

www.zootownarts.com 406-549-7555

in fact they have an event this weekend.

Support your local artists!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

At a Theater Near You!

When I was teen I was a total James Bond freak. Ahhh....to have the James Bond life. What could be better than to travel to exotic locations around the world and be surrounded by beautiful women...hmmm....I guess that is kinda what I do now.

Well now it turns out I am actually a Bond villain...Malletfinger.
My recent injury is called mallet finger and may need surgery. Funny thing is that I didn't even feel it happen. I was working in the studio taking things apart, then I looked down and go "holy deformed digits, Batman!" No pain...weird. For the time being I got a little splint till they figure out what to do with it. Ironically I was getting ready to head to Cincinnati for a photo shoot, of which is mostly hand shots. So far it hasn't affected my typing or art making but what a pain that they might have to operate.
Beware the hook.

Friday, December 05, 2008

The Missing Link...or Have You Seen My Monkey?

Ok, so we're back to talking about simians again. That Strange Case of the Sacred Monkey just doesn't stop getting weird. Okay you all know the bizarro story of me finding that little monkey for the commish I did for my friends Joe, Dalynn and their son Julian (the monkey)...if you haven't, click here to get up to date. Here's the finished piece, Monkeyshines. (It weighs 37lbs and is about 4ft tall. The monkey sits in the little nook just above there heads in the center )

The recent turn of events adds to the oddity of this little ape.
Remember the "One More Monkey Note" post where I was pondering who could have actually placed that monkey on the sidewalk? Here's the link to that post. Perhaps it was actually me who placed this little monkey for me to find. Get ready for a mind trip. Not long ago....(well over a month after I delivered the completed Monkeyshine piece, to Joe and Dalynn)...I stopped into another antique mall we have in Missoula. This one called the Antique Market. While I was perusing I came across a bunch of miniature ceramic animals, made by a company called Wade. In thsi bunch of animals I came across the same style orangutan that I used in the commish, so I bought it as a reminder of the weirdo experience. When I got it home I put in in one of my many printer trays where I store my smaller nicks and knacks. Well, the other day I went looking for that little dude...and he was gone. I swear I spent hours looking for him...and he was gone...vanished. So here is my theory...perhaps... Maybe what
happened is that I found the monkey that I purchased the monkey and then placed it into the past for me to find and work with
Another way to looking at it is, the monkey was left for me on the sidewalk by future me.
Its a thought...or maybe I just lost it...or maybe I never actually bought it and that was all delusion... ...nah, I'm pretty sure it was future me.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Gallery Walk in Missoula

Hey all you Missoulians,
I have some friends with openings this Friday. Stop by and say "hey" and check out the work.

Kathryn Dunn

Kate is having a show at Liquid Planet on Higgins...you know, the place where I pretty much wrote my book at. Music at 7 by David Boone. Check it out.

Also
Laura Blaker
Local artist and muralist extraordinaire is having an exhibit at Paradigm Architects on Main St. This is a series of oils and sketches from Italy....ah....Italy.

Look at art, drink their drinks and buy some work...see everyone there.
cheers

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

See you Tsu-oon

We have a cool new store in Missoula called... Tsunami. It's one of those hip alternative toy stores that is somewhat for kids but really an excuse for adults to by toys. Here's what I'm getting my nephew for Xmas. Don't worry he doesn't read my blog. Pretty fun stuff...in a cute yet gruesome sort of way. She also has a great book selection and, yes, my book is in there, along with Liz McGrath, Mark Ryden, not to mention a great book called Beautiful Mutants, that I just sent to Judy for her birthday.The owner, Susan is great and has a swell (might even say nifty) store. First time I stopped in was a First Friday Gallery Night and she gave me a blank Munny Doll and wanted me to modify it.
So here's what I did to it.I call him Polyphemus...the cyclops from the Odyssey. He even poops...escape hatch not shown.

One thing about making toys is that it is somewhat liberating. You don't worry so much about "is this art?" type of stuff. Here are a few others I worked on over the summer. They are for the Island of deMented Toys class I'm teaching next year.
Here's the contact info for Tsunami (web site not up yet)
Susan@lepetitoutre.com
101 S Higgins Ave
Missoula, MT 59802
(406) 541-8699

That's it for now.
Happy Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Vampyro-mania

So Judy just sent me a very cool link (she knows me so well). I thought I'd share,
http://idleparis.co.uk/vampire-hunting-kit-sold-gadgets-to-kill-vampyre/

An Authentic Vampire Hunters Kit, from the 19th century sold at auction for 15,000 smackers.How flippin' cool is that?!!!!
best yet here's what it includes:

• A Gothic style cross.
• Bible.
• Hand gun and silver bullets
• Holy oils.
• Holy water.
• Mirrors.
• Candles.
• Garlic.
• Top-of-the range wood and metal stake with added cross for vampiric extra-pain.
• Extra wood stakes, just in case.

Silver Bullets!!!!!!! did you read that? Now just to let you all know that I'm putting this little guy on my wish list. Everyone hear that? If you're looking for the perfect Xmas or Birthday present for deMeng...this is it.

I feel a workshop in Transylvania coming on. I am doing a workshop next year that is similar in concept. I call it the "Mad Alchemist's Cabinet" Where we create a cabinet to hold all you mad scientist tools.

as you can see from the above photo I use cupie dolls and fake eyeballs in my scietific investigations. A must.

So for all you mad or even slightly delusional alchemists... I'll be teaching it2009 at Artists Nook, Valley Ridge, , the Stamp Act, Random Arts and Idyllwild. It was actually inspired by coolest silent film ever...the Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Its a story of an alchemist who controls a man to do his bidding.

Rent it. Buy it. You'll never see better example of German Expressionism painting styles put to film.

Fangs for the memories,

Michael