Super-Toys Last All Summer Long

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Or, in this case, they last until April 25 at Gallery Nineteen Eighty Eight’s current exhibition Toys!

The gallery describes Toys! as an exhibition “celebrating the childhood items we cherished” and featuring “over 50 pieces inspired by gems from our youth, before video games did all the work for us.”

Considering this is the same gallery that puts on the excellent annual I Am 8-Bit show of video game-inspired art, one has to assume that last statement is firmly tongue-in-cheek.

After all, many of the childhood toys that inspired these works—He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Care Bears, My Little Pony, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles—are better examples of the dizzying heights that marketing to kids reached in the ‘80s than they are of playthings that stirred the imagination.

Which isn’t to say there aren’t stunning artistic works on display in the exhibition. Au contraire, my bitter friends.

Camilla D’Errico’s gentle portrait of He-Man’s magical ally The Sorceress (above) runs aesthetic loops around anything ever produced by Filmation Studios for their half-hour He-Man toy commercial animated TV show (1983-85).

More pics and pontification after the jump.

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Patrick Gannon’s dramatic paper-on-wood Raijin and Fujin, God of Thunder, God of War (above) casts He-Man’s Trap-Jaw and Fisto as colorful deuling Shinto gods.

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And Brendan Flynn’s Revelation 6 (above) painting of Death (yes, he of the Four Horsemen fame) astride his pale My Little Pony is a sugary sweet apocalyptic mashup that would make even the Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s heart grow three sizes.

Oh, and to celebrate Hot Wheels’ 40th anniversary, there are also over 40 Hot Wheels 1:18 scale model Volkswagen buses on display, each one customized by a different pop-surrealist artist. Brought to you by—who else?—Mattel.

It’s all a part of this complete breakfast.

All images courtesy of Gallery 1988.

3 Replies to “Super-Toys Last All Summer Long”

  1. I didn’t get the title reference and was nearly mislead that the exhibit would be around all summer. I’m glad one of my more astute friends noticed that I am an idiot.

    But misleading headline FTL!

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