This is CUBEMAN, a character from M.U.S.C.L.E. (Millions of Unusual Small Creatures Lurking Everywhere). M.U.S.C.L.E. was an American toyline from the mid-to-late 1980s based on the Japanese toyline, Kinkeshi (which was based on the manga and anime, Kinnikuman). The 2-inch tall PVC M.U.S.C.L.E. figures were produced in the United States from 1985 to 1988, and collectors seem to prefer the “flesh” or “bubble-gum pink” colored figures the most. The M.U.S.C.L.E. story involved intergalactic wrestlers fighting for supremacy of the universe. Wrestling and wrestling-related toys were of absolutely no interest to me at the time, but many of my friends remember M.U.S.C.L.E. fondly.
New York-based artist, Lou Pimentel, is one of those such people.
It’s been a while since I last did an oil painting. So I am doing this for an upcoming show, and I figured I’d do a work in progress. I going to have a blast working on one of my fav. MUSCLES.
Pimentel painted the M.U.S.C.L.E. figure, CUBEMAN, on oil-primed linen. The piece is for tomorrow night’s Memories Are Made of This group art show in LA, curated by Super Cooper.
“Tapping into my youth is making me nostalgic,” writes Lou. Well, despite what I said earlier about the M.U.S.C.L.E. figures, somehow making an animated gif of Pimentel’s work-in-progress has made me feel nostalgic too.
The interplay of light and shadows in Pimentel’s painting (above left) makes the 2D CUBEMAN look as 3D as the toy version (above right)! Go check out Memories Are Made of This at Munky King tomorrow, Saturday, August 18th. Click through for a slow-motion look back at the making of CUBEMAN.