The Darker Side of Playland:
Adults are often tempted to look back on childhood as a time of uncomplicated innocence. Yet many contemporary artists present a more nuanced view, often exposing the darker side of early life experiences. These paintings, sculptures, and photographs present disturbing undercurrents in childhood imagery, a trend in art today that Vicki and Kent Logan have recognized and developed as a theme in their collection.
While adults tend to associate toys with happiness and enjoyment, they
also can be very unsettling. Dolls can teach stereotypical gender or
cultural identities, as David Levinthal reveals with his Barbie doll
photographs. Cartoon characters can appear monstrous. The holes piercing
Joyce Pensato's Minnie Mouse and the looming presence of Gottfried Helnwein's
Mickey Mouse, for instance, evoke the brutality of animated cartoons.
The simplified forms and exaggerated scale of works such as Takashi
Murakami's Mr. DOB make even adults feel as vulnerable as a small child
caught in an oversized world. The works in this exhibition manifest
a combination of these and other strategies to reveal the complexities
of children's responses to a world created for them by adults.
For further information on this exhibition, please refer to the following source(s):