It's the time of year where collectors and artists of all shapes, sizes, tastes, and talents get together in Pasadena, California for the single greatest community event of the year: Designer Con! And like last year, ToyPinionated will be there enforce at booth 412 and playing proud host to artists Leecifer and Yosiell Lorenzo! Both gents will have art and toys and art toys in tow and are excited to meet you so please come by the booth and say hello. In addition to their amazing art we will have the few remaining ToyPinionated tees (both designed by boothee, Yosiell) and buttons for sale so if you haven't picked one up yet, this will be a great opportunity to save on shipping! We're all really looking forward to the show and to meeting all of you on November 3rd.
A bit about the artists:
Channeling the influences of tattoo, hotrod, skate, graffiti, gigposter, manga, kaiju and vinyl toy cultures, with every given opportunity, into his very own version of urban contemporary art, Leecifer resides with an amazingly patient wife, three turtles, a large collection of art, innumerable vinyl art toys and a healthy quantity of beer in the Oakland Hills of Northern California.
(bio written by Jeremy Brautman then dutifully stolen for this post)
Yosiell Lorenzo’s work fits into that saying: “never judge a book by its cover”. At first glance, his artwork is all cuteness: cupcakes, cherries and candy. But beneath the facade of frosting and the rainbow sprinkles camouflage, a sadness is stirring. Yosiell uses sweetness to reel us in. Once he has us in his saccharine net, we settle and see beyond the surface: these are cheerless creatures. They are all searching for love.
The Sicklings are a troop of Yosiell’s recurring characters who are particularly mopey and needy. Rendered in sexless simplicity, the Sicklings function like anthropomorphic feelings: Frustration, loneliness, despair…Often the Sicklings wear masks. Yosiell uses masks as a device throughout his paintings and three dimensional work. The masks represent dual and hidden identities, as well as society’s attempts to label individuals who resist categorization. Yosiell has dealt with these identity issues first hand. As a gay, Puerto Rican artist, he was often told that he didn’t “look gay” or he was a “fake Rican”.
Yosiell was introduced to art in his youth during a time when hip hop and graffiti defined urban culture. Growing up in Bridgeport, CT, he’d hop the train to New York and absorb it all. In the bold lines and bright colors, he saw strength. The writing on the wall seemed to shout: Look at me! I’m here! While he admired the intrepid markings of the graffiti writers, Yosiell also found himself looking inward. Inspired by movies like Labyrinth, he began to explore the idea of creating his own fictional world through his art. Aerosol and acrylic as escape route.
These days, Yosiell's work incorporates a process of textures and washes. Thematically, he continues to explore issues of sadness and longing in varying mediums, including: sculpture, paintings, graphite, ink, mixed media and digital vector art. He has had a solo show every year since 2008 and his paintings and resin sculptures are collected around the world. Additionally, Yosiell makes his presence known in group shows around the country with events in New York, LA, San Francisco, Chicago and Miami. Recent personal highlights include being a featured artist in the Pixar Times and invited to show at renowned art venue, Gallery1988.
Yosiell holds a BFA in graphic design from Paier College of Art. In 2011, he will debut new bodies of work in solo shows at Art Whino in the DC area and Screaming Sky Gallery in Portland. He currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he continues to spend many hours in his studio working on paintings, toys and illustrations.
About the name… Yosiell could have grown up a Jose, like any other decent Puerto Rican kid. However, his mom, saw something unique in her bundle of joy and blessed him with one of the hardest to spell/pronounce names ever. Lets say it together..“Joe-See-Ell.” Moms rule.
All images in this post were taken from the artist's individual web sites. If you like what you see, pay them a visit online or at ToyPinionated's booth, #412, at DesignerCon on November 3rd in Pasadena, California.