Ugly Unicorn!

Ugly is the new cute

It must be something entirely human to collect things; just because we like something and because we can.  One thing that always grabs my eye is creativity, which certainly describes my collection of custom art toys.

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Kentucky Fried Hard Core UU

Meet the Ugly Unicorn!  This unique creation by Jon Malmstedt caught my eye a number of years back, as its whimsical nature is coupled with an imaginative design.  Jon’s design has proven to be a great platform, as he has created many interesting variants with different base colors and amazing paint jobs, which make Jon’s work true pieces of art.

Jon has also done a significant number of collaborations with other artists, particularly in the Japanese art toy scene, as Jon has been living in Tokyo for quite a while.  Jon has also created a number of other unique toys, including a new generation of the Ugly Unicorn, which I will feature at a later time.

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Halloween UU Glows!

As I mentioned, the base vinyl and paint jobs can be very interesting, such as the glow in the dark version that Jon created for one of his Halloween releases.

My collection is approaching 100 Ugly Unicorns, which include a significant number of very limited releases and several one of a kinds.

And I shouldn’t forget to mention that Jon is a great guy, as I have had the pleasure to meet him several times and go for a hike and a drink with him!  Go check out his on-line store, as well, where he releases most of his work: Rampage Toys and Art, and tell him I sent you!

Technical Data

Both images were captured with a Canon EOS 5D Mk II and EF 24-105 f/4L IS USM lens.  The top image was lit with studio lights, dialed in for 1/100 second, f6.3 and 100 ISO.  The glow in the dark image was done with an 8 second, f/5.6 at 400 ISO exposure.

Author: jansenphoto

A Fresh Perspective Photography is more than just a vehicle for capturing the world around me; it provides me with a palette and a set of brushes, with which I paint not only what I see, but also look to express the emotions that are evoked by the scene in front of me in that moment. Growing up in the Netherlands exposed me to a wide cross-section of visual arts that laid the foundation of my photographic view of all that surrounds me. Early influences were the Dutch Masters of the 17th century, to whom I was introduced by my grandfather during museum explorations; favorites among them are the scenes of quotidian life depicted by Jan Steen and Frans Hals and the vivid landscapes of Jacob van Ruisdael. My classical high school education was supplemented by the Boijmans Van Beuningen museum, where I spent many a lunch hour exploring its great collection. Here I was introduced to surrealism with a particular love for the approach taken by Salvador Dali; Dali also rekindled my appreciation for the work of Hieronymus Bosch, who often showed the folly of us mortals. Universal Connections My approach to any photographic subject is to look for understanding first; in this I look to establish either a connection between the viewer and the subject or capture the connection of the subject with its surroundings. The captured image then aims to portray this connection from a perspective that is part of my personal interpretation. This interpretation is often a form of externalized introspection, which may alternately display the connection of isolated beings and items with their environment or highlight the whimsy of the profound world, in which we find ourselves. The universe is full of connections, many of which are waiting to be discovered; part of my journey as a photographer is to document these connections. Any assignment, be it an event, a product shoot or a portrait session is always approached through communication with the client; this is where the first connection is established. Ideas are exchanged and a collaborative plan of action forms, ultimately resulting in a set of images that aim to exceed the expectations of each client. And, lest we forget, it is important to have fun while practicing the serious business of photography!

8 thoughts on “Ugly Unicorn!”

  1. Wow. I’ve never seen an ugly unicorn toy. Not that I’ve ever looked! It must be great to be a toy designer, the possibilities for imagination are endless.

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