Max Toy 5th Anniversary art show Double Punch

I live in the future. I’ve done so for what seems like a very long time. What i mean exactly is for the past 5 plus years I’ve had to plan for events that would not occur for more then a year. I think I’ve gotten fairly good at spacing out the various events I put on or help plan .. every once in awhile something gets thrown in at the last minute or in the case of this 2 city event, a series of natural disasters.

April 23 was a date that I had in my mind for about a year, along with April 2nd and 3rd .. the twin events to celebrate the 5th Anniversary of Max Toy Company aka Max Toys. The event was conceived as a group of artists I would hand pick to paint or draw their own versions of the characters Captain Maxx or Lady Maxx.

In addition with my close ties to artists and factories in Japan, it was decided that the show should take place in Tokyo and in San Francisco.

As the first show date neared the art started coming in and boy to say i was blown away is a understatement ! I think as i look back at my short history of doing these shows, the one thing that really gets me most excited is seeing what others create.

And in this case, to see how another artist takes one of my characters and using their style interprets it in paint or digital form… yielded simply stunning results !

With only a few weeks to go and my ticket purchased for Tokyo .. well the tragic earthquake/tsunami happened. At first the plans were still set for me to go.. but slowly as the time neared it was pretty clear that I could not go to the Tokyo show.

I can not tell you the internal struggle I had even after canceling. I even thought about re-booking the flight. In the end, I made the right decision for my family.

The show went on in Japan thanks to Yo, my good friend and Max Toy man. On April 1, they had a artists only opening followed by 2 days of exhibition. I was very glad to hear that many artists and fans attended and the event also served as a nice way to have a good time, even with the tragedy they all faced. As one person put it, for the living, life goes on and this event and others to follow are a small part of keeping life normal and moving forward.

With that, the first part of the celebration was finished. The art was packed up and sent back to me for the second phase, Double Punch.

It’s one thing to see art online, but totally another thing to see it in 3D , in person. Reminds me of seeing famous art in a book and finally seeing it in person, the depth, the textures and colors all hit you.. and make that impact that can not be replicated.. you must see it in person.

As I unpacked all the art and laid it out in the gallery, I wanted to keep each piece 😉 Unfortunately I am not in that position to simply buy out the show ( ha ! ) but still I had my eye on several pieces ! But as tempting as it may be, I let the public have first go at the work.

I made a feeble attempt at hanging the show .. lucky for me Double Punches own Ryan showed up and hung the majority of the show for me. With a deft eye he was able to manage the nearly 30+ pieces of art in various sizes and hung them on the walls in record time.

I like to take a picture of the space before hanging .. there’s something neat about a gallery with blank white walls.. the potential of what is to come. And the fact that in a few weeks the show would be gone forever … fading into the mists of history.

In good shape the show was about 99% complete, the next day, Saturday April 23 was the opening. I didn’t have to worry about hanging any art but we did plan on making some special cup cakes .. which took longer for me to decorate

… plus we crammed in a unplanned family dinner just before .. so I arrived a bit late to the gallery.

Video streaming by Ustream
( sorry the video is sideways ! haha )

Available work is now online via the Double Punch site HERE.

If your in San Francisco, please visit the show at Double Punch store/gallery and see the artwork (!) Believe me it’s worth it plus you’ll get some fresh air and exercise away from your computer. 😉 Show runs April 23rd – May 22nd.

So I sit here, relieved that the latest event is now over, and a bit feeling like I need to ramp up for more ! Well for sure there is plenty more to come this year, a group show I’m in at FOE Gallery with Brian Mahony’s Guumon figures, Custom Labbit for the Japanese American National Museum show, Kaiju group show at Toy Art Gallery, San Diego Comic Con, Toy Karma 3 show at Rotofugi, and the Rising Tides group show also at Rotofugi.

That is not including the usual toy projects coming up and in the works … so i guess as much as I had planned to take 2011 easier .. it’s somehow as busy if not more so than last year ! Ha !

I want to thank you, the fan and supporter of Max Toys these past 5 years and of my work over the past 20+ years. I do this full time, 24/7 .. I don’t have any other job. It may not seem like it, but it’s basically me .. from web site / blog updates, taking pictures of toys, drawing and painting, packing orders and screwing them up (!), emails, tweetng, developing new Aliens and Kaiju …and more ! But even with all this on my plate, I have friends and supporters that allow me to do this… I want to say Thank you and I look forward to the next 5+ years ! Much Toy Karma to you !

The Kaiju train keeps rolling along !

New Max Toy coming next month called Kaiju Dualos ! Will post pics of the test shoot very soon … stay tuned !

About toykarma

Over the years Mark Nagata has collected thousands of toys and a fair amount of titles. The man behind San Francisco-based Max Toy Company is widely known as: Toy Collector. Illustrator. Magazine Founder/Publisher. Toy Designer. Artist. Author. Husband. Father. But the one description that might fit best is an unofficial one – Kaiju Toy and Art Ambassador. In the Japanese-inspired art and toy area, as well as throughout the larger toy collecting community, Mark is welcomed and recognized for his personal passion and commitment to supporting artists all around the world and the unique works they create. Beginning as a collector in his youth, Mark has had for years a keen eye for great art and a personal interest in collecting that he has spread through a variety of outlets. Trained at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, Mark honed his skills working for himself and for some of the most notable businesses in the country. As a freelance commercial illustrator, he completed works for such prominent companies as Lucasfilms, DC Comics, Hasbro Toys, IBM, Sony, and numerous advertising and design firms, both national and international. Mark’s colorful style graces over 40 cover paintings for R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps book series – Give Yourself Goosebumps. After hundreds of assignments, Mark made the decision to move in another direction, and that choice has led to whole new career as a successful businessman. For four years, the owner of one of the largest Ultraman toy collections in the world co-published Super 7 Magazine showcasing the finest in Japanese toy collecting. “I’d been collecting Japanese toys all along and suddenly realized it would be cool to have a magazine of some type devoted to them,” Nagata says. Mark’s devotion to presenting collectors with a selection of original figures inspired by classic Japanese toys from the 1960s and ‘70s as well as new versions of licensed Japanese characters is at the heart of Max Toy Company. Named for his son, Max Toys specializes in custom and limited editions of “kaiju” (Japanese monsters) toys and artwork. Many of the original toys produced are hand painted by Mark, a tradition that goes back to Japanese toy makers of the past. “Since our target is the soft vinyl Japanese toy collector, which is a very small niche, our runs of toys can be extremely small,” Mark says. “Runs range from 500 pieces of one toy to just one for a hand-painted, one-of-a-kind custom figure.” Through Max Toys, Mark has taken great pains to widen the reach of his two passions – toys and art. He played a significant part in the development of the first group kaiju show in the United States. Held at the Rotofugi Gallery in Chicago, Illinois in 2007, the “Toy Karma” Show featured detailed work from artists from Japan, the U.S. and South America. Participants marveled at the custom-painted toys and art on display. “Toy Karma” led to Mark being asked to be one of the artists spotlighted in the “Beyond Ultraman: Seven Artists Explore the Vinyl Frontier” exhibit at the Pasadena Museum of California Art. The October 2007 show, held jointly with the Los Angeles Toy, Doll and Amusement Museum, marked the first time – in a museum setting – that the influence of Japanese toys on California artists was explored. The exhibit featured more than 30 of Mark’s original paintings, toys and a selection of his vintage toy collection. Mark continued to be at the forefront as interest in Japanese-inspired art and toys expanded in 2008. Prestigious art houses Philips De Pury and Christie’s in New York and London sold Mark’s hand-painted custom kaiju toys in its auctions, spreading this unique art and toy movement into new and uncharted areas of the art world. In 2009, Mark once again took his love of toys and art overseas this time to a receptive and welcoming audience in Tokyo, Japan. Here, Mark curated the “Kaiju Comrades” Art Show, once again bringing together artists from various aspects of the kaiju toy realm in this first-of-its-kind toy art show. The following year found Mark in Barcelona, Spain co-curating with Emilio Garcia “Kaiju Attack,” the European country’s first kaiju art show. As the growth of kaiju art and toys increases worldwide, Mark continues in his unofficial role of Kaiju Toy and Art Ambassador. He has written and had his artwork and toy designs included in several books and magazines, both domestic and international. In 2010, Mark served as guest lecturer on kaiju and the toy-making process at the Morikami Museum in Florida. The San Francisco resident and his art can also be spotted in the first volume of the “ToyPunks” DVD and the “Toys R Us” DVD, while the video for the number one song by Owl City “Fireflies” featured Mark’s popular Kaiju Eyezon character. During this same time period, Mark has spearheaded the “Toy Karma 2” and “Kaiju Comrades 2” shows and has plans for future shows both in the U.S. and overseas. “Max Toys allows me to produce original artwork, new toys and work directly with a lot of talented artists,” Mark says. “Max Toy is a synthesis of toys and art, both life-long passions.”
This entry was posted in art show, double punch, kaiju, Lady Maxx, mark nagata, Max Toy, Max Toy Company. Bookmark the permalink.

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