Toys for the Holidays

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Venus Mobile, 2012 Oil On Canvas 30" X 30" © Alexandra Rubinstein
Toys for the Holidays
Curated by: Julian Calero

1717 Troutman St #220
Ridgewood, NY 11385
November 30th, 2012 - December 16th, 2012
Opening: November 30th, 2012 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

weekends 1 - 6pm and by appointment
photography, mixed-media, pop, surrealism, figurative, modern, sculpture


Toys For The Holidays

Curated by Julian Calero

(Alexandra Rubinstein, Venus Mobile, 30x30", Oil on Canvas)

Featuring: Gary Murphy, Ben Needham, Alexandra Rubinstein, Adam Taye, Cook Williams

November 30 – December 16, 2012
Opening Reception: Friday, November 30th, 6 pm – 9 pm
Hours: Sat/Sun 1-6pm and by appointment
Location: 17-17 Troutman Street #220, Ridgewood, NY 11385 (map)
Direction: L Train to Jefferson St. / B57 (Flushing Ave) to Cypress Ave

Who doesn’t relish in having a gift to open up around the holidays? When this time of year rolls around I still think about the black Huffy BMX bike with a bow on it under the tree and how within minutes I tried to jump a makeshift cement ramp only to find myself face first in the dirt on a cold December desert morning. Before that there was the innocent pleasure of my sister and I getting Cabbage Patch Kids and later that afternoon pretending we were taking our new children on a cross country camping adventure. As we get older the toy objects we crave change, but the desire for the toys remain strong. 

Toys for the Holidays explores the concept of the toy and how it changes and takes on different meanings as we move into different stages of life. The artwork considers innocence, over-protection, imagined narratives, innuendo, and the impact toys have on the sex industry and the business of escapism.

Gary Murphy recently received his MFA from the New York Academy of Art. The works featured in this show explore new artistic territory beyond the intricate realistic painting he’s been known for. His installation creates a fictional narrative using his record collection as the spring board. The narrative supplied by the aural mix ties the paintings and objects together to create an uncanny psychological space.

Recently featured in Hola Indio, a bi-country collaborative art project presented by Vice Magazine and The National Museum of Mexican Art, Ben Needham lives and works in San Francisco. This work juxtaposes the Real Doll and more traditional paintings or photographs of women. The weaving of female representations are a meditation on the abstraction of desire and the commodification of the female body for private delectation.

Alexandra Rubinstein is a Brooklyn based painter whose work often evokes feminist undertones. Her most recent paintings are a satirical commentary on society’s portrayal of female sexuality and it’s nature. Her paintings poke fun at the duality of a sex toy that acknowledges women as sexual beings, yet presents an exterior that evokes contrary associations. 

Bulletproof Elmo is Adam Taye's depiction of a parental dichotomy: the balance between legitimate protection and paranoia when exposing one's children to the world. The piece is an illustration of his inner dialogue of the best way to balance the preservation of the innocence and magic childhood while teaching about a pragmatic awareness of danger. Adam lives and works in Brooklyn.

Cook Williams was born in San Antonio Texas. He lives and works in Brooklyn and had this to say about his pieces in the show: "When I was a kid I used to imagine that cartoon characters and product mascots led private lives apart from what they were doing on the television. Though not a very profound leap of imagination, it did provide loads of entertainment. As I got older, it all morphed into something ridiculous and inappropriate and hot. Sometimes I draw that."

(Text by Julian Calero)

Gallery Info:
Parallel Art Space, formerly Camel Art Space, is an artist run exhibition space committed solely to exhibiting exceptional visual art. Located in one of New York’s premier art studio buildings and positioned on the border of two of New York City’s most densely artist-inhabited, culturally rich neighborhoods (Bushwick, Brooklyn and Ridgewood, Queens) we endeavor to provide an exhibition platform based on excellence, contribution and connectivity; serving the parallel interests of artists, community and culture alike.

17-17 Troutman Street - # 220 - Ridgewood NY 11385  •