Toy Story

Imitation may be the sincerest form of artistic flattery, but a copy is always better when it’s adulterated. Take Warhol’s eye-popping print of 30 fluorescent-colored Mona Lisas or the tasty bacon version of Van Gogh’s Starry Night found on a popular DIY website. Yum.

This type of creativity – minus the perishable pork fat – is encouraged in the world of vinyl toys. Blank figures are crafted with the idea that other artists will cut, carve and paint them to produce an entirely different toy.

Wisconsin-based artist Scott Wilkowski literally impregnated six recognizable art toys with his own ideas for “Skin Deep,” the inaugural exhibit at Lulubell Toy Bodega. Created in a limited edition of 50, Wilkowski’s collectibles sport realistic skeletal structures visible through a clear outer shell: for example, Luke Chueh’s cute “Possessed” bear gains exposed ribs and fangs, while Suckadelic’s “Sucklord” is transformed into a villain reminiscent of He-Man’s arch-enemy, Skeletor.

Tuesdays-Saturdays, 12-5:30 p.m. Starts: Dec. 9. Continues through Dec. 30, 2011


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