August 13, 2018

Art Across The World: Latin Psychedelia In Tokyo

We like to keep our eyes on what’s going on in the Art Vinyl Toy World whenever we can. This month, artist César Zanardi (who we had the pleasure of meeting through mutual friend, Nathan Jurevicius) has partnered with Art Junkie, Kamakiri, and Devil Robots on an exhibition with customized forms of his character, the CERRITO. Below is some more information and a few questions we asked him about his art form and his intro to Kidrobot and for the official  Press Announcement – LaTen – FINAL 20180807



  • How do you think Art changes the world?
    I’m not sure if Art can change the world… but Art can inspire people that can potentially make changes to the a world in constant transformation.
    Art is an massive instrument; adds new perspectives, communicate messages and seduces. Regardless if you’re an artist or not.
  • Do you think it’s important for children to do Art and creative activities at a young age?
    Creative activities (any of them) are important at all ages… you always have something new to learn and to give. 
    Doing Art… well that’s different, and depends on each person’s motivation. If the motivation is honest enough, Art will appear!   
  • When did you start doing art or toy/art customization?

    CERRITO project started as a collection of icons in a sketchbook, a full lineup of a peculiar shape of “an animal that there is no particular animal”. 

In 2011 I felt that those silhouettes needed to become and object, so I started a very small run in resin to use as a platform, trying to make them look as close as possible to the 2D icons…
Then Joshua Smith (amazing street artist from Australia) asked me to customize for a Dunny Show in his gallery at Adelaide. So I couldn’t stop being straight related to Art-Toys. 
Then Sofubi… then Giant Sculptures… and other bizarre paraphernalia. 
  • Can you tell us a little bit about the character CERRITO? What does the character mean to you?
    I use to introduce CERRITO as a mysterious creature who “appears, smiles and disappears” generating an Epiphany to the occasional witness.
    CERRITO means to me a springboard that let me jump into different creative experiences besides toys and graphics… like cocktail recipes, tattoos or music (yes, it has official theme).
    CERRITO’s organic visual system is in some way a sort of “graphic mantra” I repeat again and again… each time in different materials, themes and objectives, etc.  
  • Would you like to see other artists customize your CERRITO toy?

    Of course! I enjoy every time that happens… as more new perspectives get involved to CERRITO, the better it becomes. I hope to see even more!!

  • How is your heritage/culture incorporated into your Art?
    Visually I feel CERRITO as a kind “Essence of Latinity”.
    Since the very beginning I considered this undefined four legged creature related to different Latin handcrafts like sculpted idols, textile patterns, ceramic pieces or other tribal elements like masks or ocarinas.
    Also I found interesting to mix that concepts with other cultures (like japanese myths) or, of course with rock culture, urban art and other pop elements.
    My professional background is formal Branding and Package Design, so I found there strong tools that let me work freely but methodically in a flexible and multi-disciplinary project like CERRITO.
  • This is an interesting collaboration of artists… how did you all decide to come together?
    I’ve been working in Japan for many years and we have been talking to do something together from a long time… the we joined at DEVIL ROBOT’s office and start planing a group show, then Shin KitaiKamakiri and Art Junkie thought that it can be cool to make it something “Latin” and they proposed to put CERRITO as main on the show, like a kind of “window” between cultures. So I felt very honored about it.
  • As an artist – when was the first time you were introduced to KIDROBOT?
I think that first Nathan Jurevicius’s Scary Girl series and Joe Ledbetter’s animals really hooked me… many years ago! heheh…  

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