Mari Kasurinen and Jodi Moisan: the O.G. My Little Pony Customizers!

Custom My Little Pony by Mari Kasurinen

This past weekend, Hasbro’s My Little Pony Project galloped into LA to begin a year-long global celebration of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. The charitable art exhibition showcased 18-inch My Little Ponies painted up all pretty by artists like Ana Bagayan, DABS & MYLAJulie West, Kukula, Luke Chueh, Mark Mothersbaugh and… Perez Hilton. Toy Art Gallery on Melrose Ave will become the temporary stable for the scene through May 26th, and you can peep the pony (and brony) particulars here.

Ana Bagayan and custom My Little Pony

Ana Bagayan and her 2012 custom My Little Pony

I love this new body of work by Ana Bagayan. HOWEVER, Before Perez Hilton bedazzled a pretty pony on Melrose Ave, there were Mari Kasurinen and Jodi Moisan.

Kasurinen is a Finnish artist who, after considering customizing Barbies and He-Mans, has been making pop culture My Little Ponies for years. Of the ponyrific platform, she explains: “My Little Ponies were a perfect basis for my sculptings. Gender-free objects made of plastic and fake hair.  A lot of nuances to play with and no boundaries.”

He-Man and Orko

He-Man and Orko by Mari Kasurinen

In an email to Wired.com, Kasurinen continues: “Play is children’s way to explore and understand the world around us…I wanted to combine this great urge which we have about our own private identity with the identities of pop icons.”

Among the horsey pop icons (cue Sarah Jessica Parker meme) to receive the Kasurinen treatment: most of the characters in Star Wars, comic superheroes like Batman and Spider Man; Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow, Edward Scissorhands, The Mad Hatter and Cry Baby; and even Karl Lagerfeld, Lady Gaga, Ziggy Stardust and Damien Hirst! Coming up, Kasurinen says, “I’ll make some choices of my own. One of them will definitely be Nina — magnificently performed by Natalie Portman in the movie Black Swan.” YES!

Edward Scissorhands

Edward Scissorhands My Little Pony by Mari Kasurinen

Less is known about Jodi Moisan, but she is equally prolific with her ponies, and she does provide this background statement:

The ponies I do are mostly painted, not many sculpting add ons, while I love what other amazing artists do with their ponies, I wanted to stay more true to the original pony. I challenged myself to make the painting be the costume, use shadows to bring them to life. I wanted these to be something that could be made for the mass market. Growing up I love horses and comics, these ponies are the toys of my dreams.

Moisan also covers the gamut of comic book superheroes: Green Lantern, The Thing, Nightwing, Jean Grey, Rogue, Spider Man, Batman and Robin, Harley Quinn, Captain America, Hellboy and many more. I love some of her more unusual choices, like the Ayn Rand Pony. The Slipknot Pony is also fun.

Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand by Jodi Moisan

Click through for a sampling of Kasurinen’s (the first 12) and Moisan’s (the second 12) My Little Ponys. Both artists can be contacted through their respective websites for commission work. The new My Little Pony Project customs are available through Toy Art Gallery here.

Jack Kirby & Captain America

Jack Kirby & Captain America by Jodi Moisan

Click through for the gallery! P.S. “O.G.” = “original gangsta” or “old school”.

[Rows 1-4 above are by Mari Kasurinen and rows 5-8 are by  Jodi Moisan]