To let you know how busy things are here at the Museum, I totally forgot that yesterday was the last day for the Stan Sakai Labbit auction. Imagine my surprise to get an email from eBay notifying us that Stan’s Labbit sold for over $1500! Stan has graciously donated the proceeds of this sale to the Museum, and for that we are grateful. We are also proud to have helped Stan participate in his first custom toy show!
And it starts in just a few minutes. I have to stay online long enough to have it go live so I can post the links. Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo Labbit made an appearance on the back cover of Stan’s 199th comic book issue, so I imagine the bidding will be fierce for this piece. The Year of the Labbit show is over but Stan’s Labbit is still on view in the Museum Store.
There are still some fine Labbits available on janmstore.com, but they are going fast. We sold 6 more after the show was over!
Oh and Save the Date: Stan Sakai will be at the Museum for a booksigning on October 30. Check our web site for details: janm.org
Our third auction ended on Sunday and the Labbit by higashi glaser closed at $760.00! The winner was actually a last minute bidder. Most of the bidding was between two people and was hot and heavy. It was a huge surprise ending, the kind that can only happen on eBay!
All of the proceeds from the auction have been donated to the Museum, so thank you to the artists and the new owner of this beautiful piece.
I am going to miss “Stumped” and all of the Labbits as they go to their new homes this week.
Stay tuned for Stan Sakai’s auction coming up on October 1. It should be a cliff-hanger!
I’ve been so busy trying to get the catalog out that I haven’t had a chance to check eBay on the progress of the auction. I was thinking on Tuesday that maybe I could actually win the auction if no one bid. But checking today I see that sadly the price has gone way out of my budget!
One more day!
All the proceeds from this auction will ge to the Museum as a donation from the artist.
Kip Fulbeck’s Labbit piece just went up for auction today. You have ten days to bid on this clever piece of functional art!
Kip came in and made some alterations to the original version by replacing the florist’s foam with traditional ikebana kenzan, thereby insuring permanence and flexibilty in creating your flower arrangements.
BTW—the stones that look so randomly and artistically placed are epoxied in so what you see is what you will get!
All the proceeds from this auction will ge to the Museum as a donation from the artist. Thanks Kip!
After many check-ins last night where the bid was stuck at $510, I finally decided to call it quits and go to bed.
I woke up in the middle of the night and was plagued by work thoughts, but didn’t sneak in to check the computer and risk waking the household with whoops of excitement. It was like waiting for Christmas morning and it was worth it to see that the final bid was $721.00!
Again, thanks to Mike Shinoda, proceeds benefit JANM & Music for Relief/Japan Relief.
I have been enjoying the opportunity to create flower arrangements every few days. It’s a nice way to start your day…contemplating art and beauty.
You have to listen to the piece on the Warhol soup cans at MOCA, but my golden tones are second. Good thing I wore my radio clothes that day (the reporter caught me in a pair of sweaty, paint-stained overalls.)
Here’s a link to the interview:
Sorry everyone for making you wait so long to see the Labbit collection in its entirety, but please believe me when I say I have been working round the clock to get the show up while also managing my regular job.
Anyway, I just took the last shot an hour ago (for the Labbit that arrived an hour before we set up) and got every piece online. Five pieces sold last night at the opening, but there are plenty of fantastic pieces left to choose from as you will see.
Thanks to all of the artists who participated in the show, and all of the people who came to the opening night. It all amounts to support for the Museum!
The last arrival was from artist Jimmy Tsutomu Mirikitani of New York. He gets special dispensation because he is 92 years old and wasn’t quite sure what to make of my request to be in a custom toy show. For those of you who are familiar with Jimmy’s story through the DVD “The Cats of Mirikitani“, you may notice a slight resemblance to the artist in this piece. If you haven’t seen the DVD, you can buy one in the Museum Store when you come to admire the Labbit show in person.
I have received a couple of inquiries as to the origin of the title for the Year of the Labbit show, so I thought perhaps an explanation was in order. I was not trying to confuse, confound, or humiliate anyone for not being able to pronounce Ls and Rs (like my mother planned to when she wanted to name me Laura so neither my Chinese nor Japanese grandparents would be able to say my name correctly –Lola, Rora,..)
The blank toy that was used for the show was an already existing product created by Kid Robot and the artist Frank Kozik. I wondered about the name since the toy had absolutely no reflection of any Asian influences. I assumed it was a combination of the Latin based word for “rabbit” which in French at least is “lapin” and “rabbit”, and left it at that. There were never any indications that this was aimed at an Asian audience, it never came with Asian themed accessories, and wasn’t questioned until I decided to use it for the blank canvas for this show, at this Museum, and called the show the Year of the Labbit.
I contacted the artist to ask him how the Labbit got its name. Frank told me that his first version of this toy was a mean-looking rabbit with a cigarette in its mouth and a scar on its forehead. I had seen this in his artwork as a “Smorkin’ Labbit”, and indeed several toy versions were made with variations of rabbits and other inanimate objects (like watermelons, hamburgers, etc. all smoking cigarettes.) Frank said that he sent his Smokin’ Rabbit design to Asia for final production. When he received his first shipment of packaged product, someone in Asia had changed everything to “Smorkin’ Labbit”! Rather than scrap the whole project and return everything for a re-do, he decided to let serendipity to play into his product and kept the name as is.
The version of Kozik’s toy we are using is called the Happy Labbit and is a little more family friendly and cute. But basically I chose it because its shape offered the most surface area for artists to paint on.