Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Martin Ontiveros Ojo Rojo / Rock & Roll Fantasy

Test Shots from Martins Blog
Martin Ontiveros Ojo Rojo toy release.
Bigger and better then the mini releases at Comic Con '07 (above) a new Ojo has movable limbs and will not fit in your mouth. It's a Grass Hut exclusive, locals get 1st dibs on the opening night of the Rock & Roll Fantasy event (more details below on this) on Feb 1st in Portland US, but they will be available online the next day. The sculp was masterfully executed by Kyoka Ikeda of Gargamel.
Absolutely loving this figure, please can someone hook me up with one!!

Rock & Roll Fantasy : New Works By Martin OntiverosNew Paintings in the tone of Awesome! With this fresh paint Martin explores the strange and beautiful world of Rock & Roll, vivid colours and mythology. Alongside the works of Ontiveros there will be custom Ojo's and artwork from amongst others Gargamel, Bwana Spoons, Mark Nagata and Le Merde

A tiny interview with Martin:

grass hut- So you graduated from Cal Arts along with the inventor ofthe Power Puff Girls, do you see any common trends in line work and character design from the artists who go through that school?

Martin : There were two schools of animation at CalArts, Experimental andCharacter. I was in the former, which meant that we were allowed to doanything we wanted, traditional cell or 3D or whatever, at our own pace and with minimal structure. We were encouraged to explore our ownvisions and explore new ways of making animated films. Experimentalworked more from the angle of animation as short art films than assomething that would develop into a series on TV, not to say that alumni from there didn't wind up doing such things (for example,Stephen Hillenburg, who created Spongebob Squarepants, Henry Selick,director of Nightmare Before Christmas and others, Jorge Gutierrez,creator of El Tigre, and Brad Bird, who worked on the Simpsons and is the genius behind Pixar were all from my program). I never made a filmmyself though. Character Animation, which was the school that Craig McKracken graduated from, was way more structured in that it taughtstudents everything from the mechanics of constructing a film to the history of animation to character design itself, a true program withteachers straight out of the industry itself. Most of them were reallyyoung, right out of high school (versus the older crowd ofExperimental) and were actively following what was going on at the time in popular animation, all fans of the same stuff, and allimpressionable by what they dreamed of being a part of. When I startedCalArts, indie and alternative animation was just gaining popularity--Ren and Stimpy, Spike and Mike, Nickolodeon, and later on, Cartoon Network's original programming-- so suddenly there was more to offerthan just getting a job at Disney. More opportunity to be a maverick inline work and character design, and if not that, than at least more productions to get a job on. So, I guess the answer is yes... Jesus,could I have spent more time answering this?

GH : How is this new show at the Hut different from the solo you had at Giant Robot the other month?

M : The GR2 show wound up being a catharsis of all these emotions I hadbeen harboring for the year prior. The art was the natural outcome ofhaving gone through some heavy stuff and yet having worked and created through it regardless, resulting in some of my best work to date. Likedrinking a mix of all kinds of things that aren't necessarily good foryou and puking out rainbows in the end. Having said that, I think it exhausted me in a way too-- I'm still too burned out to load the newstuff with all the color that went into GR2. This new show is a switchto something simpler, lighter in mood, subject, and spectrum, and just plain fun. It's all about my deep love for Rock N' Roll and HeavyMetal, combined with mythology, and the cheesier the composition, thebetter. It's a new year, a lot of things have been resolved or are on another, more positive course. I'm in strange new territory and I wantto have fun. When this is all over, I'll get back to the big-colorthing.

GH : What's Ojo Rojo's story, what's he stand for?

M : Story...? I guess you could say he's a bit of an alter-ego. He smilesall the time. He has cooler hair than me. His fashion sense is somewhatglam, which is a look that I could never pull off. He's a character I can throw into any piece and he would brighten it up. I don't know ifit's the grin, the hair, or the boots, but he gets some good response.His name is kind of a fluke-- I tend not to title things until the last minute... I like to see what I come up with spur of the moment. In hiscase, I was titling everything in the show he premiered in after rocksong titles, and since he had red eyes, I used Ojo Rojo from a FuManchu song. I wish it could be more extravagant a story than that, but there you have it. Good song too.

GH : What's you connection with the Japanese kaiju (monster toy)company Gargamel? How is Gargamel different from other kaiju-makers?

M : I met and became aware of Gargamel through Bwana Spoons. We shared a room with them at Comic-Con 2006. They knew very little english, weknew very little japanese, and we had a blast regardless. I'm not thebiggest expert on vinyl out there, I don't collect much since I don't have the money, plus I'm really selective about what I get, and won'tbuy something just because it's the hot thing out there-- so my opinionis sort of limited about the vinyl world. It's really up to the tastes of the makers and collectors as to what's cool. That said, I love Gargamel best personally because they are in league with my taste in kaiju--they hail back to the aesthetic glory of Bullmark and Marusan,the older days of vinyl. I don't really see anyone else out there doing it that way (except Super 7 and Max Toy), and that's why I'm into Gargamel. That we are pals with a strong mutual admiration for each other's work is just the icing on the cake. Those guys are fun!

GH : What is going to make 2008 two thousand great?

M : Grass Hut, duh! And going to Japan for the first time, that will definitely help.

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