Toys and Toons

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Toys and Toons
Curated by: Lawrence Cappiello

1670 Irving Street
Rahway, NJ 07065
October 14th, 2012 - November 8th, 2012
Opening: October 14th, 2012 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

jersey city
photography, mixed-media, digital, installation, graffiti/street-art, conceptual, pop, surrealism, figurative, modern, sculpture


Toys & Toons: Artworks inspired by Toys and Cartoons and Comics or Cartoon Stylings

October 14 to November 8, 2012
Reception: Sunday, October 14, 1-4 PM. FREE. Light refreshments served.
An exhibition catalog is available at the Arts Guild for $15.00 per copy.

When we reach adult age the things of childhood are often left behind, yet many people hold on to the best of their early years through their life. As children most of us delighted in the holiday gifts of toys, and as ‘grown ups’ we can remember well the fun we had playing with those treasures. A train set, a favorite doll, an action figure or perhaps a game to occupy us with our friends. The artists selected to exhibit in TOYS AND TOONS are not focused on the nostalgic aspects of either cartoons/comics or toys. They are creating insightful, imaginative and often very humorous artworks using elements from popular culture that have become an increasingly significant part of the contemporary visual landscape.

Pop Art in the 60s used many of these elements as the hallmark of a style that commented on contemporary culture. Artists since then have often employed cartoon imagery or cartoon styling in the creation of ‘fine art’. Modern sculpture since the mobiles and stabiles of Alexander Calder have often had an element harkening back to the joys of childhood and the playful imaginations that allowed us to become so preoccupied with our toys, games and comic heroes. What child didn’t want to fly like Superman? Or swing from the buildings like Spiderman? How many hours were we absorbed in creating exciting fantasies or playing a favorite board game with neighborhood friends?

Most children growing up in the fifties and sixties flocked to their TVs each day to watch the many, many cartoon shows and the latest adventures of their favorite cartoon characters….and there were many. Comic books, likewise, long considered to be for kids only, have a huge audience of teens and adults who follow their heroes through the years.

Today, toys are associated and marketed with every new movie that comes to our theaters……, and each year there is a mad scramble to get the most popular toys of the season for the children. Movies also have found a new subject matter long associated with children, but apparently fondly followed by millions of adults as well. The current spate of high-tech ‘super hero movies’ and animated films have been enormously popular and each movie in the genre is eagerly awaited by children and adults alike around the world. All through the TOYS & TOONS exhibit visitors will bear witness to the delight we still find in imagination, playing and make-believe today.

Featured artists: Aric Calfee, Fred Cole, Sarah Chambers, Kevin Darmanie, Dan Fenelon, Daniel Genova, Dawn Gilmore, Mary Gorgy, Susan Evans Grove, Abby Levine, Barbara Lubliner, Jack Moore, Tom Nussbaum, Rocco Scary, D. Jack Solomon, Fran Beallor, Dan Piccolo and Howard Lerner.

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