Mr. Smith: Spinning On A Dizzy Edge (Canceled)
A highly detailed, handcrafted and painted resin bobblehead celebrating the most mischievous of our forlorn musical muses–Robert Smith.
Mr. Smith: Spinning on a Dizzy Edge is the 3rd and final chapter my Musical Muses Series. This triptych is an idolatrous effort to immortalize the musicians who’s sincerity and courage helped me survive the 80's as a teen.
What I perceived as "weaknesses-turned-strengths” in my muses – my encouragement – dictated the design and material approach towards each. First in the series was "Half a Person", a heroic bust of the despondent Morrissey as a beeswax candle – think "There Is A Light That Will Never Go Out". The second, "Digital 18:05:80", depicts a stoic Ian Curtis lodged in a minimalist porcelain monolith – think "New Dawn Fades" or unrequited dreams frozen in "carbonite". And the last, and where things get most odd but lively, is Mr. Smith, a resin bobblehead of a Pornography-era Robert Smith from The Cure.
Robert Smith will forever be the somber and frolicking ghoul that excused me to dance wildly while brooding. For at the core, I felt I was listening to the makings of a pop music language that would influence my outlook for years to come.
The Cure’s punk grit and mystical arabesques masterfully set the stage for Smith's desperate vocals to entrance me. I remember the calling drums and visceral chants of songs like “Hanging Garden” moving me to introspection. Enveloped in their flanging echoes I ritually pushed the volume dial to its limits till I heard the knock on the door.
But just when darkness seemed paramount and spiderman was free to have me for dinner, Smith showed some hope. I remember the first time I heard "Love Cats" – mischief and wicked grins were automatic in the room. It was as if I’d matured with The Cure to accept my inner gloom as a tool and not an end in itself. This all encouraged my pimply-teen self to know that "sanctioned cool" was definitely not my path, and that flailing my hands around while tripping over myself in all black was as worthy a form of self-expression as any.
Thanks, Mr. Smith. I owe you one.
My project had to express as much of this as possible. I wanted to neatly idealize Smith and capture his youthful Pornography-era days. All of the style details that The Cure fans so fervently sought to emulate (black button-ups, tight black jeans, contrast hi-tops) needed to be there. But perhaps most importantly, his playful spirit had to be caricaturized to make one message clear: doom and gloom had a secret smirk, and Robert Smith was the archetype.
As an artist and designer I sculpt, but human likenesses aren't my thing. So, in order to find the true "soul" of the project, I needed to collaborate with a sculptor that shared my emotions about Smith. In between days gathering source material, sketching poses and researching the perfect sneakers, I remembered the work of John Truman Tan. John's uncanny ability for capturing a character's spirit made me an instant collector of his pieces a few years back. Not only does he sculpt amazing likenesses, but he has a rare sensibility for accurately representing minute garment and tailoring details. Then there's the great quirk: John likes to expresses his awesome skill with some kitschy pop irony. You see, he makes the most incredible bobbleheads you've ever seen. And this, though not my usual response to kitsch, was the perfect medium for Mr. Smith.
Without hesitation, I reached out to John, found out we shared a love for all things 80's, sent him my drawings, design ideas and research, and Mr. Smith: Spinning on a Dizzy Edge was born!
We're Derrick Cruz and John Truman Tan, two likeminded designers, craftsmen and long distance collaborators with an unwieldy fascination for the darker side of the 80's. I, Derrick, run Black Sheep & Prodigal Sons studio in New York City and teach at The New School, while John works from his studio in Manila and teaches design at The University of The Philippines. Thanks to the internet and FedEx we can work together as if one of us was in Midtown and the other in the Lower East Side.
We have a totally finished piece. We've made molds for the head, hands, torso, legs, shoes and stand. We've also completed a fully painted prototype which is exactly what the final ones will look like. The next step is production and packaging – we'll be doing all of the production work ourselves, by hand.
We're seeking your pledge to put Mr. Smith into a limited edition production: 100 to ship to you by Christmas; 100 for great collectible-toy stores around the world; and 100 for those of you who chose Valentines 2014 delivery. Your pledge will also help us produce packaging to make Mr. Smith presentable to retailers. We hope this will be our first successful foray into the designer toy world.
Yep, the first 100 pledges at the $60 (DIY) and $75 (Painted) level will have their Mr. Smith by X-mas 2013! We're committed to completing 100 for the holidays. Should we get lucky and run out of those before you get yours, just pledge to the $61 (DIY) or $76 (Painted) levels and you'll have your Mr. Smith by Valentines Day 2014.
Thank you for your support. We can't wait to get started to soon have these in your hands.
Risks and challenges
We've done most of the work already and have put all of the production steps in place to deliver the first 100 by X-Mas. Our biggest challenge will be the painting and packaging process. Should unforeseen obstacles (getting sick etc.) make it difficult for us to complete and ship some pieces in time for X-mas we promise to deliver the remaining ones no later than January 30th, 2014.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (34 days)