Marking the 5th anniversary of their first 1:3 vinyl figure release, coarse toys presents The Rise of Pain in Dreams, hand-sculpted by Mark Landwehr in the distinctive coarse style. I think we can all recognize the perfect lines, defined abs, and anguished expressions that form the hallmark of the ‘coarse style,’ but here’s a little more about coarse that Landwehr, told me when I interviewed him last year.
The name “coarse” is actually a contradiction to the smooth finishes that our figures have. I like these kind of paradoxes. Also I liked that it can also mean callousness, a quality that many of our characters convey.
The Rise of Pain in Dreams was first shown in Chicago in 2010, and it has taken coarse two years to transform the original sculpture into a vinyl multiple. Landwehr describes the process as “A project of passion, pushed to the limit of technical capabilities”.
At 27’’ x 14’‘ x 7.4’’ [69 cm x 35.5 cm x 18 cm], The Rise of Pain in Dreams is an individually handcrafted large scale vinyl figure.
The damaged being, comes sunken into his mattress, clinging to the last strands of life. Embalmed in bandages, but still the blood seeps out of his mouth and wounds. Fighting inside and out for survival. This lost case comes attached inseparably to his deathbed and with an individually handmade blood puddle. He is secured with foam, slid into a sturdy screen printed cardboard box and closed with a full colour paper sleeve. His casket is lightweight and highly durable for the long journeys ahead.
It’s an interesting choice on coarse’s part to “inseparably attach the damaged being” to his mattress. It’s a bold curatorial act on the part of the designer, and I wonder how collectors will react to this sense of physical flatness and lack of posability or ‘playability’? It certainly changes the game as far as how collectors interact and engage with the figures.
Personally, I see The Rise of Pain in Dreams as a triumph for coarse. They’ve literally laid themselves bare, a broken soul on a mattress canvas. As Landwehr told me: “Art needs depth – otherwise it is trivial and dead.”
Click through for release date, time and price, several more stark photos of the figure, and to read the story behind The Rise of Pain in Dreams.
The Rise of Pain in Dreams goes on sale Tuesday, June 12th exclusively at coarsehkg.com. It’s limited to an edition of 200 pieces, and it’ll run you HK$ 5880 or ~ $758 USD.
Mark your Google calendars and set your iPhone alarms for June 12th at these times:
- 08:59 am Los Angeles
- 11:59 am New York
- 05:59 pm Hamburg
- 11:59 pm Hong Kong
So who’s in?
Drifting to the edge of awakening, I open my eyes. Almost instantly, my past pains dissolve into a beautiful nothing. The ringing in my ears fades to a low drone. My floating hands caress the air below me — weightless, I am levitating again. Through my clotted pupils, a pocket of light quickly unfolds and I begin to see that a massive glow occupies the entire sky. A maternal star with all-powerful magnetism, raising every fluid particle into the atmosphere.
Reams of bodies are released into the rising liquids, scattered across the horizon. Raindrops begin to climb and planetary juices cascade upwards. Exotic light penetrates the floating water, casting ultraviolet rays in every direction. Every gleaming body reflects back the panorama in its own crystalline interpretation. As I near the gentle giant in the sky, my blood throbs in time with the massive airwaves around me. I have surrendered to this supreme force as I enter its glistening orb. I am overcome with positive ions, tingling ecstatically. Is this birth? Am I dying? Suddenly a stabbing pain flashes through me, alarming every cell in my delicate body and sending me into cramping shocks. I paddle helplessly with my arms. Panic has taken over.
I wake up with tears streaming down my rosy cheeks but not a pin prick to my young heart. My chest is still trembling, and my hands shaking, but relief starts to wash away the adrenaline. I am stranded alone on a tiny beach isle. A sea of thick foam surges around my haven, toying and splashing its helpless castaway.
Amidst the froth and bubbles, a school of flying fish shows off its best acrobatics to get my attention. I giggle and they begin to swim, leap and flicflac in a perfect circle around me, like a semi-submerged roller-coaster. A kite creature swoops down, and begins chasing the parade. Together with a flock of feathers, they frolic and intertwine. The surrounding ocean rises up, forming a swirling wall around me. Every animated component in perfect sync to weave this kaleidoscope of colour and sound. I gaze upwards and the tall enclosure starts to close in on the sunlight. The whirlpool spoils me with its charm, but as it tries to seduce me, a thought wakes me from my hypnotic daze: “What does it want from me?”, and it shoots through my head, “Whoever falls in love, loses”. I must end this, end this now… now, NOW!
My eyes fling open at the sound of a deafening roar. Tiny bone fragments tremble as I lie paralysed. I hold my breath to hide from the creature that lurks in the dense night shade. A low slung growl gives away its sleeping place. A massive primal hunter with teeth tearing out of its skull. Long concave ears, acutely standing alert. The dim moonlight trapped by the coarse fur of its upper body, heaving with every breath. I must escape this deadly beast before it takes me for its prey.
The moon sheds its sorrow, exposing a land littered with blood and bones. A chilling wind rips through the remains as I scramble along a tiny path through the devastation. My foot gets caught on a corpse, and with a yelp, I come crashing to the ground. Suddenly I am not alone. Undead eyes awaken and glow with hunger — two pairs, now three, four… searching frantically for their uninvited visitor. With no escape I shrivel to the ground and climb inside a decaying carcass, peeping through the ribcage. Just as it seems they have moved on, a heavy foot steps into the muddy mess in front of me, stoops down and stares directly into me. Its rage fills my eyes and fears intoxicate my thoughts. I black out.
Helpless in my confusion, pain is rising and with every awakening I am further from the truth. I need to face the lies. Bravely I open my eyes.
On sale Tuesday,June 12th, 2012 — exclusively at coarsehkg.com. See time tables above.