The Baby Tattoo Roadshow Brings Coop, Gris Grimly, and Other Influential Artists to Mesa's Lulubell Toy Bodega on Tuesday Night

Categories: Events, Visual Art

One of the many devils drawn by hot rod art king Coop.
Lulubell Toy Bodega co-owner Amy Del Castillo has an important piece of advice for anyone who's planning to attend tomorrow night's appearance by the Baby Tattoo Roadshow at the Mesa boutique: Come early.

That's because the four popular and highly influential artists who are participating in the tour -- rockabilly culture king Coop, macabre illustrator Gris Grimly, surreal-meets-swanky graphic designer Ragnar, and bizarrely beautiful doll maker Marina Bychkova -- are almost certain to draw a crowd during their stop at Lulubell on Tuesday, May 21. Plus, Del Castillo says, they'll be at the shop for a mere two hours. Better heed her advice and be plenty punctual.

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"I'm pretty geeked out for Tuesday," Del Castillo says. "It was a really special opportunity to bring these four to Arizona. Baby Tattoo is only doing six stops for this tour and they're really small stops so we're pretty honored to have them here. We're encouraging people to come out because it's one of those things that's like it doesn't happen that often in Arizona and I'd like to bring more of it here for the community."

All four artists will bring new prints and works to show off and sell at the signing session and meet-and-greet at the shop. They'll also have some compilations of their works from Baby Tattoo, the Southern California-based publisher with a particular yen for fringe, counterculture, and bizarre artists.

While a couple of the talents involved (such as Coop and Grimly) are regular visitors at toy or comics conventions across the country, Del Castillo says that tomorrow night's event offers the opportunity to not only meet such artists and get their creative efforts signed, it's a chance to witness their stuff up close and in person. And for a some of the artists involved in the tour -- like Bychkova, in particular -- getting an in-person gander at their work isn't possible outside a gallery or museum setting.

"A lot of Marina's dolls are usually shown in museums and places like that," Del Castillo says. "Marina will have this 'traveling set' of dolls that she's bringing with her, which is really cool, because for a lot of us, it's probably the only chance we'd ever see them unless it's at a museum in a big city. Baby Tattoo will have a book that's almost like a catalog of a lot of her work."

The enchanted doll creations of Marina Bychkova.

Bychkova's works are quite striking, to say the least. These self-described "enchanted dolls," which are made from porcelain, are adorned with lavish and extravagant-looking miniature jewelry or costuming and painted with intricate tattoos before being posed in opulent settings. There's a certain dark moodiness to her work, Del Castillo says, which adds to their bizarrely beautiful nature.

"Her dolls are just amazing. They look very highly detailed and it's kinda a really neat mix of realism," she says. "She hand-paints tattoos on a lot of 'em, which is something I've never [seen much] before."

Location Info


Lulubell Toy Bodega

128 W. Main St., Mesa, AZ

Category: General

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