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sculpture

It's anthropomorphic, but do you have $91,000 to spare?

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The File 770 science fiction fandom website reported on October 17 that the top-end Takashimaya Tokyo department store is selling a solid gold statuette of Baltan, a giant space lobster-man villain from the Ultraman TV series, for the yen equivalent of $91,000. A Japanese news video shows solid gold statuettes of Ultraman himself, plus other Ultraman space villains such as Bogleech.

Ultraman, a 40-foot-tall superhero from outer space, appeared on Japanese TV for 39 weekly half-hour episodes from July 17, 1966 to April 9, 1967. It was produced by Tsuburaya Productions, the company of Eiji Tsuburaya, the creator of Gojira (Godzilla) in 1954, and was meant to be for Japanese TV what Godzilla was for Japanese movies. It succeeded wildly.

Gromit statue auction raises £2.3m for Bristol children's hospital

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Between July 1 and September 8, the Gromit Unleashed exhibition saw the city of Bristol play host to several dozen statues of Gromit, the anthropomorphic dog from Wallace and Gromit.

On 3 October, the statues were auctioned to raise money for an expansion of Bristol Royal Hospital for Children. One lot, Gromit Lightyear, designed by animation studio Pixar and depicting Gromit as Buzz Lightyear from the Toy Story franchise, sold for £65,000.
Gromit statues
The eighty-one statues, depicting Gromit in a variety of styles, were designed by several artists, including Nick Park (creator of Wallace and Gromit), and Simon Tofield (animator of Simon's Cat). In total, £2.3 million was raised for the hospital. Nick Park said he was "stunned" by how successful the auction was.

Fine art: The sculpture of Beth Cavener Stichter

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RunMy brother (an artist himself) texted me a while back: “Hey! I think the fandom should have a dose of fine art maybe? Check out Beth Cavener Stichter. Art reviews may not be your thing, but art exposure could be fun.”

He’s right; art reviews are not (usually) my thing, but art exposure can be fun. Especially when the art in question features anthropomorphism of this quality. As my brother’s follow up text put it, “And she is just that @#$%ing good.”

According to quotes from Stichter’s Wikipedia article (I told you I was bad at art reviews), her sculptures:

… are simply feral animals suspended in a moment of tension. Beneath the surface, they embody the consequences of human fear, apathy, aggression, and misunderstanding.

Basically, she is using the term “feral” in exactly the same way furries use it, though completely incidentally. Probably. However, her sculptures are made in such a way that we can’t help but anthropomorphize them – just like “feral” characters drawn by furries.

Korean scuplts anthropomorphic animals from recycled tires

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Jackal-man tyre sculpture by Yong Ho JiAnthropomorphic jackals, wolf-men, horses and wild boar - all made of used tires, resin, steel and foam. These are the work of Yong Ho Ji, a Korean whose art has toured the world, from Seoul to Amsterdam.

Yong, who has an M.F.A. in fine arts from NYU and a B.F.A. in sculpture from Hongik University in Seoul, originally formed his pieces from welded iron bones, wooden planks and soil, overlaid with tires, before turning for a while to death-castings. Nowadays, he works in tire-wrapped resin formed on plaster molds.

Within the medium, there is great scope for choice in materials, as noted by Trinie Dalton:

A deer's tender cheekbones and muzzle are rendered with lightly treaded road-bike tires and smooth inner tubes, lining its eye sockets and nostrils to conjure a quizzical expression. The burly neck and forehead of a steadfast rhinoceros uncannily resembles a real rhino's bust because of the broadly treaded tractor tires peering out, like anger-strained tendons, from beneath a rough outer skin made of motorcycle tires.

Some species seem more popular than others; his gallery displays a multitude of deer and eleven models of shark, but only one mink. Herbivores feature on an equal basis - there's even a zebra. [tip: JayGryph]

More Creatures in 3D

Brian Harris is a graphic artist who, as of late, has been moving increasingly into 3D work — thanks in large part to the ever-expanding technology of 3D Printing available at sites like Shapeways. Working under the name Timothy BH, Brian has been selling sculptures of Goldie Pheasant from Rock-A-Doodle and Spike the dragon from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, as well as others… and he intends to start taking commissions soon. Check out his Shapeways Shop to see his current work and find out how to keep up with his latest creations.


Image c. 2013 Brian Harris
Spike c. 2013 Hasbro / The Hub

Art in 3D

Painted Dog is the furry name for the artist known as Angyl Kille, creator of one-of-a-kind wildlife and fantasy sculptures. As shown on her FurAffinity page, her work can range from simple character studies to more “practical” applications like shot glasses and Christmas tree ornaments, all with more than a touch of whimsy thrown in. Check her out there, at her Deviant Art page, or at her own professional page, belibou.com.


image c. 2013 A. Kille

Go Tigers! Go Cougars!

This July MX Collectibles is releasing a set of 6-inch tall collectible busts, modeled after various university mascots. And the first set of four is decidedly furry! Check out their web site for the new busts of the Louisiana State University Tigers, The Clemson University Tigers (pictured below), the University of Memphis Tigers, and the Brigham Young University Cougars. Each of these busts was created by well-known collectibles sculptor Clayburn Moore.


image c. 2012 MX Collectibles

Archaeologists reappraise ancient Lion Man (or Woman)

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Lion man, by GauraThe Lion Man of the Hohlenstein Stadel is a 32,000-year-old sculpture which depicts a humanoid figure with the head of a lion. Fragments of it were first discovered in 1939 by archaeologist Otto Völzing, in a cave named Stadel-Höhle im Hohlenstein (Stadel cave in Hohlenstein Mountain), in the Lonetal (Lone valley) in the Swabian Alps, Germany.

The figure, pieced together over many years as fragments were found, stands around 30cm tall, and was carved from mammoth ivory using a flint knife. It may represent a mythical creature, or possibly a shaman hiding under an animal hide.

Debate has raged over whether the figure is male or female, and the discovery of approximately 1,000 new fragments may help resolve the issue. The sculpture will be disassembled and rebuilt to include the new fragments.

Giant bunny dominates Swedish town

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Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman presented "Stor Gul Kanin" as part of a festival of art in Örebro, Sweden. The gigantic, yellow bunny now dominates the open space adjacent to St. Nicolai's church. The Huffington Post has a slideshow of pictures and a brief article.

Video: New York's inflatable bag monsters

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Big Apple artist Joshua Allen Harris uses subway exhaust air to inflate bags cut to form stylized animal sculptures, as described in this interview by New York. [tip: Alex Vance]

New Manhattan merry-go-round offers "really furry" ride

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Raccoon Merry-Go-Round

The golden age of carousels may be a century past, but apparently Carousel Works is still at it, with a newly-opened merry-go-round at Pier 62 outside the Chelsea Piers in Manhattan.

Rapid T. Rabbit reports the rides on offer "[represent] the natural wildlife that can be found all the way up the Hudson Valley […] [including] foxes, raccoons, rabbits, bears, deer, coyotes, ducks, turkeys, and even assorted fish."

The project cost $482,477 and is open 11AM-7PM daily, weather permitting. Rides are $2.