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Interview with French artist Tan-Ki

Toy Art Gallery continues on their roll of amazing shows, putting all the focus on toys and how this medium is art in every sense of the word. On November 12th, they are proud to be playing host to yet another amazing show, this time however unlike their other shows that featured many artists, this is a solo show by French artist Marion Tanguy, better known as Tan-Ki. Showing for his first time in Los Angeles, Tan-Ki will be showcasing many of his custom creations, along with his very own original figure the "Kitoy", a stout little fellow that has had almost everything imaginable suspended in body at one time or another! “When Birds Sing The Song Of The Clouds” is the title of this upcoming show (preview is posted HERE), and I had the opportunity to interview Marion about his journey from where his art began all the way up to this most recent show... so sit back and enjoy! Hit the jump to read the full interview.

1. First and foremost Marion, tell us a little about yourself, your life, and how did you become so involved in the arts.
I am a boy of 33 years, father of 2 little guys Mael and Ilan (7 years and 4 years). I live in a small town Brest in Brittany while to the west of France. My main activity is the graphics and web design that I practice for three years as a freelancer. Diploma of Fine Arts in Brest, I then guided towards graphics and myself discovered a real passion for the designer toy 3 years ago.

2. Tan-Ki is an interesting nickname... where did that come from?
Tan-Ki is simply the celtic traduction of Tanguy my first name. This name means Dog or Fire Warrior (Celtic).

3. Your original figure "Kitoy" is certainly unique, where did you draw inspiration from to create this figure?
I drew the kitoy in order to make a toy to paint oneself. (DIY) I wanted to find a simple form to paint, but nonetheless original. The final form was found after extensive testing of modeling.

4. Talk to me about the process of making each figure, how many part mold do you use to create your Kitoys... and how do you choose what to insert?
To make a Kitoy I use one cup silicone mold into 2 parts. I use the silicone is transparent which allows me to manage the flow of the resin and see the reaction of the object inside. I can also see if the bubbles are formed and thus remove them (at least for larger). I also work with a Parisian friend who masters the resin as a person. So I worked with him for Kiclear 8 "and kiclear 3" crystal clear, gray and smoked in order to have figures without any bubbles.

To choose what I will insert, I do a lot of tests. Mostly I use toys that I enjoy. I also use candy to offer me a great color palette. The main idea is to crystallize a movement, a tendency to freeze, to digest a period ... a snapshot in three dimensions

5. These figures that you make are super appealing to most all collectors, why do you think that is, and what separates your pieces from all the others out there?
This question is not easy because it is difficult to know what pleases in the art for a particular person. It would have to ask! I would say that I did not follow the codes set in the fashion designer toy. The shape of Kitoy can represent many things, one can see a character, any shape, form funny ... what is certain is that it is close to anything that exists. Perhaps it is a form reassuring? I do not know, I am myself surprised by the enthusiasm aroused by this model. Je ne peut que m'en rejouir.

6. I assume that as an artist your brain is always creating... do you have any plans in the future to create other original figures?
Few years ago I worked with Kitoy and it is true that I move on. Especially since I work 6 months on a project bringing together the shape of the figurine and the Kitoy Goldorak (Grendizer). It is in production and should be released in January or February 2011. I also have some ideas make concrete such as a small octopus to paint oneself (Octo-Ki), the sculpture is made and the 3D files are ready. What is certain is that there will be new for 2011.

7. Who out there in the art world inspires you, who do you look up to as an artist, and why?
I am attracted by many artists in the art world in general, including street art. It is difficult to give names. Of course I particularly appreciate those who work the resin. The wonderful world of Kaiju also attracts me more.

8. Lets talk about your show at T.A.G., how did this come about, and who approached you about doing it?
Everything is done very simply. Gino asked me to exhibit in his gallery and I accept of course. It gives me great opportunity to present my work and I can only thank Gino for inviting me.

9. How many pieces did you create for this show, original, custom, and are there any surprises we can look forward to seeing?
For this exhibition there will be something like 65 KiClear, few kitoy DIY, 7 paintings on canvas, 18 customs, two skateboards customs, a KiClear 8" custom and 3 Kiclear 8" clear, smoked and gray (they are om the road to LA, I hope they will arrive in time ...)

10. Wow... and 8" version is fantastic, is this going to be resin or have you moved to vinyl, (if not have you thought about making the move to vinyl?)
The resin Kiclear are and will remain so for the moment. I want to keep the idea of the handmade is what I like about what I do. But maybe one day there will Kitoy DIY 8 ", who knows!

11. I am guessing your a super busy guy with family, and design work, but what can we expect to see from you in the future?
It is true that it is not easy to reconcile family life, my work as a graphic designer and my passion for toys. It is time for me to rest and enjoy my children and my family but I think I never loose my passion for the designer toy: I hope to still be talking about me and my work for a while yet.

Thanks so much for taking to time to answer all these questions and congratulations on this awesome looking show at TAG! For those of you who are interested in Tan-Ki's pieces, the preview is up right now HERE for “When Birds Sing The Song Of The Clouds” so go check out ALL of the amazing goods!

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