Toy Bomb!

Featured Artists

Jennifer Barry, Tim Brower, Mary Ellen Croteau, Spencer Dormitzer, Tim Doub, Jane E. Fisher, Brent Gearan, Jason Greenberg, Diana Guerrero-Macia, Gary Justis, Craig Newsome, David Reninger, David Russick, Bryan Schuetze, Mala Setaram, John Santoro, Frank Trankina, Micky Wallace, and Karl Wirsum.

  • September 17, 1994 – October 15, 1994
  • The Del Prado

Curated by John Santoro this group exhibition included works by artists who incorporated toy images or actual toys in their work. Participating artists used varying themes, and concepts to define their use of toy imagery.

Jennifer Barry used the hybridization of gross exaggeration and bizarre permutation to define personal and perceived identity. Through humor and curiosity plants and animals were recombined, and unruly societal behavior was miniaturized into mixed media narratives. Jason Greenberg’s work explored the relationship between childhood and adulthood, as it related to personal identity. Clothes and toys manifested a mix of culturally coded information. His sculptures examined identity by conflating adult and child objects into one body. The handmade labels grafted onto adult clothes describe childhood experiences. The toys were written on in the hand of a child, but the labels scrawled upon them pertained to issues and stereotypes from the adult world. Some artists appropriated toys, symbols and objects that were representative of readily identifiable societal assumptions and used them to create visual statements that challenged obvious interpretation. Artist Mary Ellen Croteau’s work exposed sexism and deeply embedded cultural misogyny in an attempt to undermine patriarchy with wit and humor. Croteau used various media, including sculpture, installation and painting that insinuated jarring commentaries on social icons, found in art, religion and consumer goods. Micki Tschur created stuffed animals that were formed through a process of investigation and removal to reconstruct a form of represented identity. An identity that feared belonging to anything that preceded it and that questioned belief systems, sexuality, and the physical constructs of protection.

Painting influenced by process and form inspired the work of artists Spencer Dormitzer and Dian Guerrero-Macia. Spencer Dormitzer’s concern for the process of painting with emphasis on revealing the structure and apprehensions in his paintings, guided his series of “revelation” paintings. Dian Guerrero-Macia used a variety of media to create medium-sized narrative abstract pieces of work. Through personal inspection of our culture and our feelings, Guerrero-Macia presented perceptions and addressed nuances of differences both literally and metaphorically. Bill Wallace, an interdisciplinary sculpture and performance artist, formed interactive/kinetic sculptures that used the basic elements of light and sound to examine the underlining principals of human communication. Through his interactive sculptures Wallace created for viewers an alternative form of expression and communication that was based on fun and play.

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