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Anime confronts social ills in ‘Goku vs. …’ exhibit in downtown Merced

‘Goku vs. …’ is the latest collection by local artist, Goku Mcafee. A reception will be held for his work at Kreepy Kawaii Designs on Sept. 24, from 6 p.m. - 10 p.m.
‘Goku vs. …’ is the latest collection by local artist, Goku Mcafee. A reception will be held for his work at Kreepy Kawaii Designs on Sept. 24, from 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Pops of color meets anime characters meets current events in Goku Mcafee’s latest collection of work. The Merced artist is set to debut the exhibit “Goku vs. …” at Kreepy Kawaii Designs in downtown Merced with a reception on Sept. 24, from 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. The event will also be catered by Sanctuary Pizza.

Inspired by current events and a homage to some of his favorite animated cartoons, “Goku vs…” sets Mcafee’s work apart from past creations and opens the mind up to how far one’s creativity can span.

“The latest work is inspired by current issues,” the artists mentioned. “Well, more like ongoing issues that have plagued this country for a long time. Police brutality, immigration, ICE, white supremacy & systemic racism.” The pieces he’s created for the show are a mixture of acrylic on canvas, acrylic on wood panel, sculptures, and collages.

“In one of my pieces Goku is throwing a flying kick at this caricature of a police officer,” Mcafee said.

The artist’s namesake, ‘Goku,’ is the main character of the popular anime series Dragon Ball Z. For this specific piece, Mcafee conjured up a fighting scene between Goku and a police officer.

“Still keeping it somewhat innocent but profoundly serious you can see the police officer with the squirt gun but the face replaced with a pig nose and a demonic-like clown gaze,” Mcafee continued.

This describes only one of the unique pieces in his collection.

“My previous work  wasn’t  directly political in messaging given the way that I would paint very improvisational like jazz,” he said.

“That work was more internal and personal,” he continued. “I was very vulnerable. The last show was like letting people inside my head and literally. With this current show I decided to use Goku not just in name but also as an avatar along with other familiar Anime characters that resonate with our childhood.”

This will be Mcafee’s second art installment at Kreepy Kawaii. He was the first artist to showcase at the art studio/store when it opened up last summer with his collection, “Sold As Is.”

The artist is excited and hyped to be doing his second show at the art studio.

“Patty has done so much for the art community,” he said. “She’s dope  a.f.  … I have great ambitions to be in museums and make an impact on the art world. I hope my art resonates with artists and kids from Merced and inspires them. …

“Oh, Goku, he’s from Merced,” Mcafee continued. “I hope the work brings up conversations and thoughts and makes people think about these issues. … I think given the characters  I’m  using it  may  make people think of these issues in a different way, maybe seeing something from their childhood that they have ties to some sort of nostalgia but in the form of art with a message. … something    in their hearts have to relate. … I hope.”

You can chat with Mcafee and enjoy fresh pizza at Kreepy Kawaii on Sept. 24 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Come hungry and ready for an animated night. The shop in downtown Merced at 1731 Canal St.

For more information on the event, you can reach out to Kreepy Kawaii Designs at (209) 354-6067.

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