Andy Ward
'The Lonely Firefly' solo exhibition
Atom Plastic, milan will be hosting a solo show of my work from the 04th Feb thru 04th March entitled  ‘The Lonely Firefly’.
The pioneering art toy shop and gallery space was launched towards the end of last year and I was invited to be the first artist to show there - Grazie Ragazzi! It’s a great venue in the centre of town run by the supremely talented Italian design supremo Mauro Gatti of Mutado his wife the equally supreme Giusy (who’s blog is always worth checking), and the just as supreme Piero Degasperi who owns and runs Atom Plastic here in Bassano and to whom i still owe a pizza.
Atom has been pioneering the art toys, comic books, and all round good art market in Italy for several years now and the new site in Milan is testament to the Italians impeccable taste ;)
The show features a selection of some of my favourite pieces i’ve made for the fashion industry over the last 5 years and the images are accompanied by a selection of the garments and accessories made from the designs. The show will also feature the unveiling of the limited  edition figure ‘The Lonely Firefly’ commissioned for the show and produced in an edition of 25. A selection of leather accessories i collaborated on with Cailfornia label Tookata People will also be available at the show.  Atom were kind enough to interview me earlier in the week.
 Be great to see you if you’re in the area - Atom Plastic Milano, Thursday 04th Feb. at 18:00h.

Atom Plastic's Milan store and gallery space

via Alessandro Volta 6

precious things

somebody please tell Mr Taxali to sort it out
Barbie by Tookata People
Barbie by Tookata People
Last year I was given the opportunity to work on a very unique project involving Barbie. Mattel had approached Tookata People earlier in the year with the idea of working together. The result is a line of leather accessories, apparel and jewellery to be released in the spring of 2009, Barbies 50th anniversary year.
The line is inspired by the original 1959 swimsuit Barbie and shows my interpretation of her in the classic black and white zebra striped strapless swimsuit and  big Jackie O style white sunglasses. I produced 2 images for this colleciton, one pulling out the black and white stripes and using them as a back drop and one poolside. Mattel have been fantastic in allowing an illustrator to take Barbie and interpret her in a style that’s as different as it is from the original. In my research for the project i read how the original Barbie had caused controversy on it’s launch in 1959 by moving away from the classic childs doll form of the oversized head and big eyes. It’s been interesting for me receivng feedback from Barbie fans who now see her with the oversized head and big eyes. Fashions shift and how this interpretation of Barbie is received is yet to be seen but just to be a part of this on her 50th anniversary and add my little bit to the pot has been a real buzz.
Barbie poolside
Barbie zebra
Geisha Dark series from seasons 1-3
The Los Angeles based fashion label Tookata People have just launched their first website showcasing their first 3 seasons collections. The company was started 18 months ago and they have exclusively been using my artwork on their products. I’ve been working with them from the beginning and it’s been a great insight into the whole process of running a label, from the design and sampling through to production and sales.
Almost all of the products are printed on leather, a process which required a lot of trial and error
in the beginning as there was virtually no-one doing this when they started out. The results from printing on suede are pretty incredible as the inks sink deep into the material and give it a hand painted feel. The colours are rich, deep, and vibrant. The buffalo leather is heavier, more rigid and has a darker tone with a slight sheen. Artwork printed onto the buffalo takes on a more antique feel picking up the sepia and brown tones of the leather. And as all leather is a natural material each hide has it’s own individual characteristics - colour variations and marks in the form of healed scars, blemishes, scratches, growth marks, differing fibre densities, and hair pore structures. This all adds to making each product a little more interesting and individual.
Having the artwork made into products that people are prepared to shell out for and
wear is a  buzz and the whole process gives the artwork a new sense of purpose. And when printed on leather IT SMELLS DAMN GOOD! Some images of the bags are below along with some of the original artwork.
Frenchie Undersea series from seasons 1-3
tookata pattern women's from season 3
Dog Town courier from season 3
geisha spring sample for season 4
'Doing The Dog' season 4 artwork detail
Tookata Pattern Men's artwork detail
Tookata Pattern women's artwork detail
EDEN artwork detail 1
EDEN artwork detail
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