Revenge of the Misfit Toys: NYC’s Boo-Hooray Gallery Preps Sucklord Retrospective

As we stand blinking in the cold, hard, light of the fourth day of a fresh year, we’re ready to examine our vices. First up: the growing army of limited-edition toys (some of which remain at rest in their original, value-preserving packaging) that threatens to colonize ever greater swaths of our bookshelves. Perhaps you, too, are conflicted about your desire in recent years to hoard “highly collectible” figurines, whether Dunnys, Munnys, Labbits, Be@rbricks—oh, those adorable Be@rbricks!—that family of zipper pulls-cum-grinning foodstuffs, or the Star Wars-riffing meta-wackiness made tangible by Morgan Phillips, better known as the Sucklord. Who can resist a Louis Vuitton lightsaber? Betcha can’t buy just one.

“The barrage of limited-edition art toys that roll off the conveyor belt like so many Sucklord-blog logorrhea bitch-fests never fails to intrigue and disappoint in a one-two punch as mighty as those doled out my Bruce Lee if he had chosen limited-edition toy making as his field of violence,” notes Johan Kugelberg, co-curator of an exhibition of the Suckadelic art toy universe opening next Tuesday at Boo-Hooray Gallery in New York. “Intentionally confusing, misleading, disappointing, and really funny, these limited-edition parodies of action figures reverberate with a vicious wit and are oddly eyeball-pleasing in the manner of all kinds of toothsome 20th/21st century collage and montage art,” according to Kugelberg and co-curator Simeon Lipman, who compare the impulse to acquire a hot-pink Storm-trooper to the urge to splurge on, say, a magenta balloon bunny crafted of chromium steel. (“This is something that I think you should ask your mother or Banksy or Duchamp or Malcolm Maclaren or your boy Charles Saatchi about,” writes Kugelberg in his curator’s statement.)

On view through January 23, the show will, of course, include a “Suckadelic Suck-Shoppe” so attendees can load up on original artwork, sculptures, silk-screens, and paintings. “The work presented in this exhibit is a documentation of my struggle to reach the top of a sinister pyramid scheme,” notes Phillips in the exhibition catalogue (a limited-edition, natch). “A culture-jacking enterprise where ruthless-yet-compelling super-criminals compete for the imaginations of fickle consumers and a relentless media machine.”