Raijin and Fujin; God of Thunder, God of Wind

Raijin and Fujin; God of Thunder, God of Wind
⊛ cut paper + washi / wood (cherry)
⊛ 7.25 x 15.4 in • 184 x 390 mm

Raijin and Fujin are, respectively, the Japanese gods of thunder and wind. Trapjaw and Stratos are, respectively, enemy and ally of He-man, most powerful man in the Universe. When Gallery 1988 asked me to create an homage to the Toys of my youth for their current show, "Toys" (it runs until April 25th), the latter two somehow seemed like the perfect modern, plastic stand-ins for those blowhard gods.

I've got to be honest. The He-man figures belonged to my little brother. All I ever had were Star Wars figures. Not that I'm complaining. Playing with his toys was the perfect way for me to stave off maturity for a few more years. As it turns out, it also was early research for my current career. Stratos was always my favorite of the heroes, although I really have no idea why. Maybe I wanted to fly. Or maybe I just have a thing for wing-ed monkeys.

Seeing as he controls the skies of Eternia (and my brother's bedroom) he was the only choice for Fujin. I replaced his bag-o-wind with those red, red wings. Didn't want him to get confused with Aeolus, after all. Trapjaw, on the other hand, really needed Raijin's drums, both metaphorically and visually.

As a side note, Raijin is often accused of stealing and eating kids' bellybuttons in Japan. You can still see full-grown adults covering their bellybuttons during a thunderstorm.

You can see all of the amazing art for the "TOYS" show, by a bevy of super-talented creators, here. It's gorgeous work, and well worth a look.

UPDATE 2015:  The link to Gallery 1988's Toys Exhibition gallery is long dead, but you can still see many of the works via Google image search, so I substituted that link above.