Custom Roboto by ITEM

July 24, 2009


From his HERD AT-AT’s to his Hulk Fuck! Red Hulk gas mask, ITEM has really developed a knack for taking classic pop culture icons, deconstructing them, and rebuilding them as pieces of pop art and exercises in modern design.

I’m really fascinated by the idea of 80′s action figures, particularly Masters of the Universe, as platforms or canvases for artists.  So, over the course of a few e-mails, ITEM and I came up with a plan in which I would send him a vintage Roboto figure and he would work his magic upon it.  Yesterday, ITEM got back to me with these awesome images of his Roboto custom.

From ITEM:

Have to say the approach was an odd one for me as I normally don’t do customs. I’ve done the odd Munny as well as the AT-AT’s for HERD, but those were more of an artistic intent rather than pleasing the Toy Community. That was stuff produced specifically for an exhibition following a particular concept. So when you sent me the Roboto figure, I was seriously wondering what the hell I could do with it. First off this is one well built toy. There was no way to open the chest and access the gears. The only things able to come off were the limbs. So I basically let it sit and stew…and stew…and stew. Finally while sitting at work I looked over at this dollar store robot I had kicking around and knew right away what to do for this.

Every good Artist for me has this instant recognizable ‘look or feel’ that helps create a relationship with the audience. So my dilemma was that i’ve been all over the place and have yet to nail down that consistent output. So with Roboto I combined my last two projects together which was the ‘HulkFuck!’ mask and ‘ROT’ sculpts. ‘HulkFuck!’ had this minimalist approach to it while ROT was more along the lines of ‘craft’. It was almost describing how i’m making my transition from furniture design to visual art. The former being simple, clean lined while the latter venturing in a more handmade/craft approach. I’d almost suggest that this project may have helped me determine what that style may be. So hopefully this is a blessing in disguise in terms of growth as an Artist. I’m actually going to tackle a few Munny’s with this style and see how that goes.

Amazing, Adriean.  Looks like I owe you a couple of pints!

For more on ITEM, check out his official site here and his blog here.

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