May 2013
Missing Link in Spain

With spring's Pictoplasma Berlin festivities still visible in the rear-view mirror, we allow ourselves no time to give in to the inevitable annual post-festival blues. Instead we opt for full throttle and have three great current and upcoming events to announce:

¡Pictoplasma's descent onto Spanish soil with a vast group exhibition in Madrid!
¡The second coming of our deceased Kitchen-Showroom!
¡And the birth of the world's first Academy for advanced Character Design!

Read all about it...

White Noise


La Casa Encendida, Madrid
24 May - 8 September 2013

Too Many Mascots, Not Enough Character? Not in Spain! Just a few days ago Madrid saw the opening of our latest group-show of contemporary character art, focussing on the current artistic strategy of hijacking, re-designing and creating mascots, while they increasingly free themselves from the contexts they were initially intended to stand for.

The exhibition features paintings, sculptures and limited prints by more than 20 international artists. Several site-specific installations further investigate the topic, such as the "White Noise Serials", an extensive shopping shelf display, bursting with an abundance of 300+ competing sympathy seekers on an avalanche of endless trifling product packages.


A fine selection of street-art photography curated by the Wooster Collective examines the power of figurative aesthetics as it reclaims the public space, while a central shrine filled to the rim with designer toys from the extensive collection of Selim Varol presents the character's fetishized incarnation. Additionally, the venue's lofty roof terrace overlooking the city stages the return of our Missing Link, now offering itself as a perfectly empty, 5 meter tall character that has lost all context and purpose: An inflated mascot with nothing left to sell.

Missing Link

Back in Berlin we're excited to revitalise our short-lived tradition of hosting exquisite character-driven art exhibitions in our kitchen showroom - only we no longer have a kitchen! No reason to despair: Thanks to our friends at Bold Berlin, we get the chance to co-present a great visual treat in their welcoming art-space:


Bold Room, Torstr. 68, Berlin
8 – 28 June 2013, Mo-Fr 10:00-18:00
Opening 7 June, 19:00

The Spanish/German artist Max Gärtner - known as the explorer among illustrators - continues his breath-taking research of wildlife fauna in highly elaborate, graphical abstract animal drawings.

Max Gärtner

In his new exhibition "Animal Watching" he not only investigates the relationship between humans and animals, but also the surprising hierarchy of differing animal species. Max Gärtner positions hunting and prey animals in a direct opposition and enhances their encounter by a third dimension —  as some of the visitors themselves will be caught up playing an active role in this game of wildlife voyeurism. 

As a first teaser of what to expect (without giving away too much), please have a look at Max's short making-of video.

After this little excursion into the animal kingdom, let's talk about higher education:


Maybe one day things will lead to the world's first character design high-school or university, but we'll start modest, with…


12-20 October, 2013

We've been toying with this idea for quite a while: After 10 years of organising conferences and closely collaborating with the world's most innovative and talented artists, designers and creators, we want to bring their knowledge and experience to a new level of inspiration and intensity:
The Pictoplasma Academy is a new, 8 day programme for higher learning and exchange, suited for all longing to expand their practice in a specific field related to the creation of characters – whether as illustrators, animation filmmakers, fine artists, or graphic, toy, fashion and product designers. Similar to a master class and under the close guidance of some of today's leading artists, the Academy offers a limited number of participants selected upon application the unique opportunity to refine their own projects and ideas, expand their skills, and further develop their character-driven work.


From freehand-drawing to the sculpting and molding of vinyl toys, from 3D Illustration to character driven story-telling and animation: Daily workshops challenge participants to bring their creation to various media, understand a diverse range of technics and tools, work out the visual essence and refine the conceptual framework. Additional guest lecturers give inspiring incentives to the group, while evening panels offer insight on additional aspects such as copyright, licensing and production. The Academy's leading tutors are internationally famed, multi-facetted illustrators, artists, game and toy designers Rilla Alexander and Nathan Jurevicius, with first confirmed lecturers and workshop hosts such as 3D illustrator Mark Gmehling, sound-designer David Kamp and art-sculpture manufacturing company Toykyo, with many more name droppings to follow shorty.

Most of all, the Pictoplasma Academy aims to help you push your own personal project to the next level and find the strategic path to connect with key partners for its further development. Last, but not least, all participants will be invited to present their work to a professional, international and interested audience in a group exhibition as a central part of the upcoming Pictoplasma Festival 2014.

Academy 3

2014? Yes, the next year will see our Conference's 10th anniversary, and we are already toying with several surprising ingredients to make it a memorable celebration.


But that's off-topic and will have to be part of another newsletter…

¡peter y lars!

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