Coarse: Japanese Inspiration and German Precision on awesome figures
Coarse studio offers some of the most sought-after pieces for some years in the Art Toys market and the truth is that it does not surprise us at all. Their creations are magnificent figures that fuse German neatness and elegance with Japanese animated expressions.
Bearbrick inspired the beginnings of the study
Coarse was born almost two decades ago in 2003, when Mark Landwehr decided to create three-dimensional pieces from his drawings, influenced by the Bearbricks he saw on his trip to Japan that same year.
The Hannover artist began to create his first resin figure (a very difficult process that left him practically ruined), which he presented at the Plastic Particles Exhibition 2003, with which, however, he obtained the recognition of the specialized media.
The Vans company noticed him and a year later when he moved to Hong Kong for his work, they contributed financially so that he could launch his next figure (Flake, Fluid and Float) which was a huge success helped by the Art Toys explosion in Asia.
His partner Sven Waschk, whom he already knew years ago, joined him in 2007, as well as designer Chrissi Jülich.
The name of the company, Coarse (coarse, coarse), as they comment, is a contrast with the perfect, soft and smooth finishes of their creations.
His influences include different cartoonists and designers such as: Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami, Yoshitomo Nara, or more recently, David Lanham.
In their works they try to reflect very neat and precious figures, but most of the time they reveal a state of sadness, silence, pain or loneliness.
The realization of their pieces usually takes between 6 and 10 months. During that period, they create ideas, sketches or collages of their characters, to find their essence and mood. Later, they personally sculpt and paint a first version of their figures (which they use to present at exhibitions later too).
Only when they have several versions, they decide which one is finally going to be produced (usually in fairly limited runs), and they carefully control the entire process, even putting emphasis on details such as the wrapping and packaging so that the experience of the one who acquires one of their pieces is unique and complete. Just what collecting the best Art Toys is.
After winning the audience award for ‘Best Artist of the Year 2016’ at the Designer Toy Awards, the Coarse studio continues to make pieces and even create great collaborations with artists such as Amanda Visell or Play House.
Continuously, this studio is offering us a bit more adult pieces in which their polished and perfect design is mixed with the dark stories behind them and the emotions they generate in us.
Some examples of Coarse most representative pieces:
Flake, Fluid and Float (2004)
The first piece they made shows us some young men without a shirt, with a surfboard and skateboard. Different versions of these have been made (Cream, Revolt, Switch ...) in various sizes.
The skater figure from Flake, Fluid and Float was later released in a larger version (just over 60cm) with bleeding wounds. There is a 'pain' version of most of his figures, which are characterized by being the crudest, usually having blood, bandages and a downcast expression.
One of its most aggressive pieces that shows us a muscular rabbit in an attack position. This figure was the first they made in a wide variety of colors and also the first to take the shape of an animal.
Jaws depicts a boy with a shark head on his, in one of his many figures in which the faces of his characters are partially covered.
The Omen are one of his friendliest and most covered creations. In their many sizes, colors, and poses, these owls are already really popular. Some have criticized the studio for producing so many figures of them, but the reality is that every time they appear on the market they are instantly sold out …
The combination of JP Toys from Thailand and Coarse is bringing us some more kawaii and adorable figures based often on animals. Examples of them are the Nibbles and Root or Pun Pun and Shoot couples.
Symbolism and design are united in one of their latest figures. Elephants have always been associated with Thai and Asian culture and this brightly colored Ganesha is a very successful design for last year's online edition of the Thailand Toy Expo.
In his hands we can see 4 symbols that represent: Knowledge, Patience and hard work, Perseverance and The key to success.
Enjoy collecting pieces from artists as great as Coarse by visiting the Kaneda Toys store. We are waiting for you and you won’t be disappointed with the Kaneda Experience!