UglyCon at GR2 in LA this weekend: a gathering of Uglydoll fans

I had the great pleasure of visiting with Giant Robot's Eric Nakamura and collaborators last night at the GR2 space on Sawtelle in Los Angeles.

Way into the wee hours of the night, they were gathering one-of-a-kind Uglydoll art for the fourth annual Uglycon, which starts June 15 and continues through June 26. The show includes Uglydolls created by fans, and fellow artists.

Photo: Xeni Jardin

Boing Boing pal Tim Shey and I walked around the space and watched a mural and an exhibit take shape. Above, a time-lapse video of the mural creation shot by Eric Nakamura.

From Wikipedia:

Uglydoll is a brand based upon a line of plush toys which began as a long distance letter between the creators David Horvath and Sun-Min Kim. The Uglydoll line was first launched in January 2001 and is distinguished by its definition of the word "ugly." In the "uglyverse," ugly means unique and special, that we should be celebrating that which makes us different, never hiding the twists or turns which make us who we are, inside and out.

"This one-off Uglydoll won't be made," says Eric Nakamura (it's also his photo).

One of the artists participating is Luke Chueh, whose contribution is shown below in a snapshot I took last night.

"My work is usually much darker than this sketch," Luke told me, "but you'll notice the bear is squeezing the Uglydoll a little too hard."

GR2 had copies of his wonderful 2012 coffeetable book, "The Art of Luke Chueh."

Luke Chueh (photo: Xeni Jardin).

Some of the most interesting fan-art is in soft art form: fabric re-creations of the Uglydoll canon. "People who make plushies don't get a lot of respect," Eric told me, "they're not getting invitations from galleries to show their work all the time. This seemed like a good opportunity to show their craft."

The event kicks off this weekend, and many local businesses are participating with "Ugly points," redeemable rewards for ramen and boba tea and whatnot. Bring your eatin' pants, as my people say: there is so much good food on Sawtelle, not the least of which is the new soup dumpling place right accross the street from GR2.


Opening Reception:
Saturday, June 15, 2013
2-9 PM
2062 Sawtelle Boulevard
Los Angeles CA 90025

(And thanks, Cate Park!)