Mark Landwehr and Sven Waschk [coarse] return to Chicago’s Rotofugi Gallery (via Germany and Hong Kong) with their signature brand of lean, pristine toy art. Speaking in the lexicon of the fine art world, Mark and Sven are what you’d call the ‘Debbie Downers‘ of designer toys. When I interview toy collectors, their eyes light up as they talk to me of the happy, playful nostalgia or the light and upbeat diversion from their complicated and weary lives. Nope; not the case with coarse! But that’s OK.
Souls Gone Mad is a sculptural story of Ruth and Fever, two fearful souls about to have their vulnerabilities exploited as what they repress becomes their reality. That is heavy stuff! And yet the ‘magic’ of coarse toys is how they get from that weighty, pensive origin to the painstakingly effortless results you see here.
Souls Gone Mad features limited edition resin multiples, original fiberglass sculptures and photographs by coarse. The show runs through December 2nd at Rotofugi in Chicago. I’d love to experience these up close in person, and see how they make me feel. Alas, it’s not in the cards for me this time. Click through for lots more beautifully depressing photos of perfectly flawed character sculptures + a video bonus animatronic piece!