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If Dorothy had looked this awesome, the Tin Man would have followed her to Oz and then back home to Kansas. Fortunately for him Nikki, tonight's latest Toil Girl, will be here in the gallery for us all to gaze upon for a very long time. Wish her and her shiny cyborg buddy a very warm welcome. Now let's wax bionically about her portrait.


Surprisingly enough, pin-up queens did not typically share the lime light with robots during the dawn of the Atomic Age. Clunky atomatons were almost as big of a box office draw as Marilyn Monroe's calves were during the 1950s but, surprisingly, they were rarely called upon to accompany a gam queen in a photo shoot or art sitting. Teddy bears and cars, yes. Sleek, cybernetic beings with flashy control panels on their chests, no. Granted building a robot wouldn't have been cost-efficient for a single photo shoot, but one has to wonder why cheesecake artists like Gil Elvgren couldn't just paint Robby The Robot into a scene with a gorgeous space maiden. Regardless, the moderators here at the Toil Gallery vow that tonight will not be the only night that our metallic friends will be recognized as the brawny chick magnets that they are. If a long-haired muscle head like Fabio can make the ladies swoon with his modeling skills, so can tonight's tender-hearted emo 'bot. Nikki, consider yourself a trend-setter.


And speaking of our attractive oil bearer, my interaction with Nikki during the creation of this art couldn't have been more satisfying. Because we shared a love for things from the past, I had great fun sketching out all kinds of whimsical kitschy sci-fi scenes based upon Nikki's ideas and interests. And let it be known that Nikki also had a Halloween theme in mind when she approached me, so her October placement in the gallery this month couldn't have been more auspicious!


Nikki says:


When I first found out about Les Toil, I couldn't believe it. An artist dedicated to big girls! Anything that can help big girls like me feel sexy and beautiful, I am all over it! When we started talking about my concept I said I love things from the 50's and 60's--and Halloween. Les ran with it! All the ideas presented to me were awesome, but I just couldn't stop staring at the robot! It was a hard decision (because I wanted them all!), but "Robot Love" was an easy one to decide to go forward with .


Thanks Les for doing what you make this world a better and a more beautiful place!


And thank you, Nikki, for going with such a groovy, kitschy and retro portrait idea. You've really helped to maintain the spirit and the intention of this website, and that intention is to celebrate the beauty of big girls in the guise of classic pin-up art. I believe we've accomplished that here tonight.


Oh, and get an eyeful of this fantastic card she hand made me! There's ribbons and glitter and buttons and textured paper all over this thing! I'll cherish the effort she put into the production of this card just as much as I'll cherish the heartfelt words about body acceptance written within the card. I also had this card displayed in my dining room during the celebration of the release of my first graphic novel called Shmobots (a book all about robots incidentally!). The card was quite a hit at the party. No doubt robot love goes a long way.


Hugs to you, Nikki.

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