Characters continued

The cute critters and harrowing monsters of Berlin-based character culture festival Pictoplasma have, along with their creators, packed up their bags and headed to their respective universes.

Following our blog on Friday about the first half of the festival, here’s a whistle-stop tour of the marathon of talks, exhibitions and screenings that took place in the second half, featuring South Park animation director Ryan Quincy, game designer Keita Takahashi and graphic artist and audio-visual performer Motomichi Nakamura.

Quincy kicked off the talks on Friday morning, discussing his work with South Park, his own series Out There and his recent paintings. The Out There series, which you can watch a bit of below, is a lot more emotional, melancholic and real than the world of South Park and features peculiar, hairy beings, which you can see Quincy dressed as in the shot below.

Ryan Quincy and his paintings
Ryan Quincy speaks to host Anna Henckel-Donnersmarck

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yf2NlfHrXRQ
Ryan Quincy and his paintings
Ryan Quincy and his paintings

Motomichi Nakamura discussed the thinking behind the intense red, black and white colour palette he uses and the multiple platforms that his work makes its way onto, from the printed page to live VJing sets. Illustrator Amandine Urruty talked through her influences – including Roland Barthes and Hieronymus Bosch – behind her surrealist work. Mark Jenkins discussed the issues around street art in galleries, the evolution of his work and having the police and bomb squads called to dispose of it.

Out of the lecture hall, Roman Klonek was leading a woodcut printing workshop and the more than 20 galleries hosted character walk exhibitions, including that of Matt Jones. Jones sent his trademark vinyl toy to a selection of illustrators and tasked them with customising it as they saw fit. Illustration collective Inkygoodness similarly invited a wealth of creatives – including Mcbess, Toy Factory and Sneaky Racoon – to decorate wooden totems for the Neurotitan Gallery to create one of the most physically impressive exhibitions of the character walk.

The Inkygoodness totem exhibition
More totems from Inkygoodness

Ryan Quincy and his paintings
Roman Klonek’s woodcut workshop

The Mini Tea Tour
The Mini Tea Tour

Ryan Quincy and his paintings
Some custom versions of Matt Jones Lunartik in a Cup of Tea vinyl tour

Artist Nick Cave took a rapt audience through the evolution of his performance-based work, which sees him and his studio construct playful sound suits, inspired by everything from tribal culture, old laundry and found objects to condoms and the clergy. Despite their colourful friendliness, Cave was inspired to make his first suit following the Rodney King incident – which saw members of the Los Angeles Police department convicted for police brutality – when its perpetrators described African-American men as monsters.

Ryan Quincy and his paintings
Nick Cave discusses his sound suits

Other highlights included an insight into the working process behind Jeremy Dower’s incredibly detailed – and uncanny – digital paintings of pooches, Ben & Julia’s insanely colourful animations and the silly fun of Keita Takahashi’s game Noby Noby Boy.

Ryan Quincy and his paintings
Live drawing from Keita Takahashi

The final party included live VJing from Motomichi Nakamura, dancing yetis and a set from musician Dan Deacon, who invited man and beast to dash around the stage – a manically energetic and fitting end to the four-day festival.

Ryan Quincy and his paintings
Dan Deacon invites the audience and this year’s yeti hosts to the stage

Latest articles

Remembering Jon Daniel: 1966-2017

We look back on the life and work of the Design Week columnist, independent creative director and social activist “who helped put black participation on the political map”.