"Friends" 1997
"Friends" 1997

Installation at Cold City, Toronto; with the artist's script "Watashi-wa Otaku ja arimasen." (I am not an Otaku.) left: "Kostas" and right "Fern" both: 1997, acrylic plush stuffed with polyester fiberfill

 

The series "Friends" attempts to mascot the abstract, with a combo-menu of the social and the tech, with a super-sizing of Pop. These bio-tech bouquets salute the Pacific Rim's majestic rule of the contemporary. Such Nerf-esque Tribbles have the pulse of individuality from the linked names of friends and attached anatomics (brains, hearts, livers, gall bladders). These carny trophy-mutants are compiled with elements organic (edible and hominal), atomic (rhomboids and geo), everyday (asprin, computer mice, bread bag closure, toilet paper roll), Asian (chow dog, ginger root, tiger penis, rhino horn) and Nintendo (Dixie Kong helicopter hair, 64 logo, 1/10th-of-life banana bunch). An electro-static fuzzy edge and color saturate are borne of the monitor, and hover these mongrel montages as eternal space junque. Similar to the quad-bouncer Sojourner joey Mars Rover's surface acquaintances Yogi and Scooby-Doo, these Evain-kid concert-potatoes await.
One can indeed embrace the social-tech without adapting a Unabomber-nerd status... I am not an Otaku.

— Exhibition statement, 1997

Friends

"Costa" 1996
"Costa" 1996

acrylic plush stuffed with polyester fiberfill 22" x 15" x 11 inches elements: brain, depth-charge bomb, toilet paper roll

"Fern" 1996
"Fern" 1996

acrylic plush stuffed with polyester fiberfill 20" x 22" x 20 inches / 50,8cm x 55,9cm x 50,8cm private collection, Toronto elements: liver, four-leaf clover, depth-charge bomb, spermatozoon

Friends exhibition at Beauty Supply
Friends exhibition at Beauty Supply

left to right: Alessandra, Fred, and Sabine

"Felix", 1996
"Felix", 1996

acrylic plush stuffed with polyester fiberfill 49" × 27" × 12 inches / 124,5cm × 68,6cm × 30,5cm elements: ginger root, Bic pen cap, polyhedron, brain, black bear gall bladder collection Bachir/Yerex, Toronto

"Mundy" 1996
"Mundy" 1996

acrylic plush stuffed with polyester fiberfill 9" x 40" x 28 inches elements: double-yolk fried egg, computer mouse, polyhedron

"Friends" review
"Friends" review

Canadian Art magazine review of "Friends" exhibition at Jack Shainman Gallery, New York by Jonathon Goodman Summer Issue 1997, pg 72

"Alice" 1996
"Alice" 1996
"Friends" 1997
"Friends" 1997

installation at Cold City, Toronto; with the artist's script "Tomodachi" (Friends) showing "Stephen" (on left) and "Mundy" and "Alessandra" (on futon) all 1997, acrylic plush stuffed with polyester fiberfill

"Stephen", 1996
"Stephen", 1996

acrylic plush stuffed with polyester fiberfill 12" x 29" x 19 inches private collection, Toronto elements: panama bananas, Tide XK bottle, brain, tiger penis, Nintendo 64 logo

"Robin", 1996
"Robin", 1996

acrylic plush stuffed with polyester fiberfill 28" × 22" × 12 inches / 71cm × 56 × 30,5cm elements: magic mushroom, gall bladder, chow dog satellite, flat basketball, intestine, homo milk bag tag

"Sabine" 1996
"Sabine" 1996

acrylic plush stuffed with polyester fiberfill 18" x 27" x 19 inches elements: ginger root, Dixie Kong's helicopter hair, tiger penis, magic mushroom, concord grapes

Artist statement for the "Friends" exhibition at Cold City Gallery, Toronto 1997

"Fred", 1996
"Fred", 1996

acrylic plush stuffed with polyester fiberfill 17" x 16" x 19 inches elements: toilet paper, stomach, heart, cow's udder full of milk, hot dog links, tongue

"Alessandra" 1996
"Alessandra" 1996

acrylic plush stuffed with polyester fiberfill 15" x 21" x 17 inches elements: soccer ball, four leaf clover, tongue, Chiquita banana bunch

Friends exhibition at Beauty Supply
Friends exhibition at Beauty Supply
Friends exhibition at Beauty Supply
Friends exhibition at Beauty Supply

photography by Toni Hafkenscheid

Friends exhibition at Beauty Supply
Friends exhibition at Beauty Supply

photography by Toni Hafkenscheid

Friends exhibition at Beauty Supply
Friends exhibition at Beauty Supply

photography by Toni Hafkenscheid

"Romeo", 1996
"Romeo", 1996

acrylic plush stuffed with polyester fiberfill 17" x 17" x 19 inches / 43,2cm x 43,2cm x 48,25cm elements: beef steak, bear claw, Buddhist flag, polyhedron

"Olivia", 1996
"Olivia", 1996

acrylic plush stuffed with polyester fiberfill 15" x 21" x 17 inches elements: human heart, chow dog satellite, rhino horn, Tide XK plastic bottle, two stuffed olives

Friends elements as emojis

"Felix" icon/emoji, 2019
"Felix" icon/emoji, 2019

produced on occasion of the "Friends" exhibition at Downs & Ross in New York

"Friends" at Downs & Ross, NYC
"Friends" at Downs & Ross, NYC
"Friends" at Downs & Ross, NYC
"Friends" at Downs & Ross, NYC
"Friends" at Downs & Ross, NYC
"Friends" at Downs & Ross, NYC
"Friends" at Downs & Ross, NYC
"Friends" at Downs & Ross, NYC
"Friends" at Downs & Ross, NYC
"Friends" at Downs & Ross, NYC
"Maybe, Maybe Not" 1997
"Maybe, Maybe Not" 1997

dangling carrot, featuring katakana script "Meibi, Meibi Noto" iridescent velvet, embroidered acrylic plush crest, polyester fiberfill approx height 72 inches / 183cm collection Bachir/Yerex, Toronto

"Disaster Mascot" 1997
"Disaster Mascot" 1997

A commemorative of the Challenger shuttle that exploded over the Atlantic Ocean on January 28th 1986. Acrylic plush w/ polyester fibrefill 32” x 23” x 7 inches / 81,2cm x 58,4cm x 17,7cm

Challenger Disaster
Challenger Disaster

The Challenger shuttle disaster cloud was the basis for "Disaster Mascot" 1997

"Cheezie" 1997
"Cheezie" 1997

"Chi-zee" in katakana is embroidered onto the surface —junk food. acrylic plush, polyester fiberfill 7½" x 27" x 6 inches / 19cm x 68,6cm x 15,2cm

"Cheezie" 1997
"Cheezie" 1997

"Chi-zee" in katakana is embroidered onto the surface —junk food. acrylic plush, polyester fiberfill 6" x 22" x 4 inches / 15,2cm x 55,9cm x 10,2cm

"Cheezie" 1997
"Cheezie" 1997

"Chi-zee" in katakana is embroidered onto the surface —junk food. acrylic plush, polyester fiberfill 5" x 18" x 4 inches / 12,7cm x 45,7cm x 10,2cm

Installation view
Installation view

Installation view of "Cheezies" and "Maybe, Maybe Not" at Mercer Union Gallery (Toronto), 1997

Canadian Art review of the "Friends" exhibition at Downs & Ross March Issue, 2020

Beauty Supply exhibition announcement image

"Hawkins" 2020
"Hawkins" 2020

Hawkins brand cheezie mascot, 100% Canadian content acrylic plush, polyester fiberfill 8¼" x 19" x 4¾ inches / 21cm x 48cm x 12cm private collection, New York

"Hawkins", 2021
"Hawkins", 2021

Hawkins brand cheezie mascot, 100% Canadian content acrylic paint, polyester fabric, polyester fibrefill 8¾” x 28½” x 6¾ inches / 22cm x 72cm x 17cm

"Hawkins" 2021
"Hawkins" 2021

Hawkins brand cheezie mascot, 100% Canadian content acrylic paint, polyester fabric, polyester fibrefill 8¾” x 28½” x 6¾ inches / 22cm x 72cm x 17cm