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Sometimes a life-sized piano-grilled toy robot wants to share its love so badly it is willing to risk piloting a child’s tricycle in order to bring it to you.

Despite what you may assume from that innocent face, this robot has been around the block.  I added the piano key smile in honor of the musical mayhem of Portland’s own Solovox and a round of his flyers.  Stumptown Underground included Hot-Wheeling Robot Love in their 8th issue “Everybody do the Robot”, and good: a gallery asked him to announce their first robot_love exhibit.

This is the kind of brilliance that’s possible with two Art Directors; one that designs beautiful promotions for the best talent in town, and one who is seven years old.

hot-wheeling robot love

Prints, stretched canvas, device skins and shirts available on Society6, Shirts and stickers on RedBubble

Do you remember that one time you made it backstage and met the singer/dj/flutist who was socially disappointing?  Or that writer who was better on paper?  Sometimes the art that we love is made by folks we wouldn’t like if we knew them.  Sometimes bright, heartfelt, awesome, positive work comes from people who could be described the same way.  Carl Oxley III is one such artist.  He is the Happiness Company, and he’s a nice guy.

Detroit doesn’t enjoy the same kind of prestige as its big city counter-parts on those other coasts, but it does have a creative community working together with respect and a lot of heart.  Oxley has collaborated with the city’s finest, exhibited in the full range of the cities venues, and left his mark on more than a few corners around town.  In his own words; “I believe art should be accessible to everyone. It is extremely important to me that the people who enjoy my work the most, can afford to take home the piece they love.”

Carl Oxley III just wants to see you smile.  You can check out his gallery at popartmonkey.com, buy some art on his etsy, and look over his virtual shoulder via his facebook fan page.

My time as a printer at VGKids probably came into play on this piece.  I built up the green mother-board background pattern through layers of ink and acrylic washes before stenciling the labyrinth of reflective silver figures.  I knew the result would depend on several interlocking process, and documented the different stages of development.  Loosely based on the pages of the kama sutra, these robots find a variety of ways to express their physical affections.

10 inch square, 1.75″ deep
acrylic, ink, and spray paint on reclaimed hand-made wood box frame with a protective gloss varnish.

robo-sutraThe box-framed surface and underpainting had probably sat in the studio for about a year before finding it’s way back to the easel; as the annual “robot-love” exhibit at good: a gallery was around the corner.  I began skething robots as blocky iconic couples, as a skyline, as lovers, composing different positions in illustrator and organizing them into the square.

robo-sutra
When I got to a composition I liked, I printed out two copies the size of the physical surface.  One print was cut for the silver of the robot bodies and registered to the painting.

robot sketch

robo-sutra

robot silver stencilUsing a light coat of contact adhesive on the back of the stencil, I laid down silver spraypaint.

On the second print I drew out the line work in a way that made the robots positions readable, trapped the silver border, and kept the stencil intact.

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