Matthew Garrido, “First day of Earth Field Trip” (2018), acrylic and Illustration marker on paper, 12 x 18 in., on view with Tierra Del Sol Gallery (all images courtesy the artists/galleries)

DesignerCon began in 2006 under the name Vinyl Toy Network as a hub for the growing community of collectors, designers, and artists of vinyl collectible figurines. Over the past 13 years, the event has expanded in scope and size, now incorporating a wide spectrum of art, design, publishing, clothing, toys, and pop culture.

Lauren Tsai, “UNREAL,” Produced by MEDICOM TOY X 3DRETRO, Edition of 200

Alongside the exclusive toy releases, live artist battles, and a VR tunnel featuring animation from the wildly popular film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, this year’s Con will feature a curated section of lowbrow, Pop-Surrealist, and outsider art titled Beyond Eden. Organized by Andrew Hosner of Culver City’s Thinkspace Projects, Beyond Eden takes inspiration from the LA Art Show’s Littletopia — conceived by the late Greg Escalante, one of the founders of lowbrow bible Juxtapoz. In addition to Thinkspace, other galleries represented are La Luz De Jesus, KP Projects, Dark Art Emporium, Modern Eden Gallery, and the Tierra Del Sol Gallery. Guests will enter this section through an arch designed by Carlos Ramirez, formerly of the Coachella-based collective the Date Farmers.

Sketch of the inaugural archway for Beyond Eden designed by Carlos Ramirez

On Sunday evening, the closing reception for DesignerCon will coincide with the opening of Instruments of Change at the Fullerton Museum Center, also organized by Hosner. Beginning in mid-November, the museum invited eight Latin American street artists to create large-scale murals and installations over the course of 10 days; the artists are Alvaro Naddeo, Curiot, Fefe Talavera, Fernando Chamarelli, Hilda Palafox (aka Poni), Paola Delfin, Saner, and Zezao. The works will be unveiled on Sunday, connecting the toy fandom scene with the street art and museum worlds, showing how far DesignerCon has evolved from its niche beginnings.

SANER, “Life in Our Hands” mural in Mexico City

When: Friday, November 22–Sunday, November 24
Where: Anaheim Convention Center (800 W. Katella Avenue, Anaheim, California)

More info at DesignerCon

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Matt Stromberg

Matt Stromberg is a freelance visual arts writer based in Los Angeles. In addition to Hyperallergic, he has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, CARLA, Apollo, ARTNews, and other publications.

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