Imagine a cross between Crazy Bones, weed and the Easter Island Moai sculptures and you have The Incredibuds.
These slightly terrifying, marijuana figurines are the creation of James Oleson, a sculptor, painter and street artist who is known for his equally imaginative murals of alien-horse-businesspeople and sculptures of human-faced jungle cats. The Incredibuds look smokable, as if they were carved from huge marijuana nugs. But while they are sculpted from resin, it’s not the type you might find caked on the inside of your pipe.
The Incredibuds are purely for display, conversation pieces that come with their own backstory. According to their mythology, the Incredibuds are “magical beings” on a journey to find “powerful crystals,” which will somehow get them closer to their ultimate goal of being smoked. This will allow them to transform, like weed-shaped butterflies, from land-faring creatures into masters of the sky. But every good hero needs a villain.
In the Incredibud universe, the “cruel” Skunk Brothers run rampant—henchmen for the evil Don Santo, head mafioso and seed thief. Since the Incredibuds are cannabis flowers, one can only assume that these seeds are their children. That’s right: Don Santo is one callous psychopath.
One also has to wonder if Don Santo’s name is a play on Monsanto, a multinational agricultural corporation known for its patented, genetically modified seeds that are widely criticized for hijacking farmers’ profits. It’s plausible given Oleson’s passion for creating environmentally friendly art.
Oleson’s artists’ statement talks about the importance of using recycled and scrap materials for his sculptures, “salvaging and manipulating cast-off materials,” rendering him a “modern-day street alchemist.” He currently lives and works out of St. Petersburg, Florida, an ocean-side city on the state’s eastern gulf coast. Oleson has earned wide acclaim in Florida, taking home the City of St. Petersburg’s 2015 and 2016 Individual Artists Grants, as well as a number of other awards. As an artist, Oleson writes that one of his main objectives is to transport people into new worlds and frames of mind.
Every Incredibud is made to be unique. They’re two-to-three inches tall, live in a glass weed case, and can be purchased for roughly 20 to 30 dollars each. Some glow in the dark. And you can even have an Incredibud made in the shape of your own face in case you want a big nug of yourself staring at you next time you light up.