Photographer Gabriele Galinberti‘s series Toy Stories is a simple concept revealing a complex story. Over the course of 18 months the artist photographed children throughout the world with their most prized possessions. He would often play with the toys along with the children prior to arranging them for the photographs. It is surprising how much the toys can reveal about each child. Often children would prize toys that reflected the occupations of their parents – a large collection of cars for the son of a taxi driver or rakes and shovels for the daughter of a farmer. Also, Galinberti relates that poorer children’s play focused more on friends and activities rather than possessions. He says:
“The richest children were more possessive. At the beginning, they wouldn’t want me to touch their toys, and I would need more time before they would let me play with them. In poor countries, it was much easier. Even if they only had two or three toys, they didn’t really care. In Africa, the kids would mostly play with their friends outside.”
Italian artist Federico Lombardo’s portraits are washy, delicate, and often straightforward, yet in their best moments they possess qualities that are strange and askew. His subjects look distinctly Angelo Saxon or Scandinavian, light skinned and fair, and are conventionally attractive. Their faces, bare and plain, stare straight at the viewer with the knowing look of being gazed upon, often smiling or glaring in response. He has series of women and men, as well as couples and children made with oil, watercolor and by digital tablet, but by far, his watercolors showcase his best efforts. The way Lombardo applies his paint is mostly very controlled, yet in crucial areas he gives way to the fluid nature of the medium and in effect produces subtle, bizarre deviations in his otherwise bland looking subjects. In this sense, these instances of surrender are reflective of the work of Marlene Dumas; however, Lombardo’s work is wholly different in that it stays safe in its uncontroversial directive.
Imagination comes to life with Yeondoo Jung‘s Wonderland series. He takes children’s illustrations and re-creates them in staged photographs. Some are incredibly spot-on accurate, while others had some creative tweaking added to complete the image. All in all it made for a unique series of images we wont soon forget.
Yayoi Kusama homage
Andy Warhol homage
Spanish designer Jordi Ferreiro takes on a role often overlooked in the creative industry when he organizes these art workshop for kids. Though I’m definitely not qualified to make any astute comments on arts education in the American school system, it’d be nice if there was umm… more of it. It’s interesting though, to see the sort of primitive forms and ideas presented in the children’s artworks and think “Wow, the stuff made by (enter currently hip artist’s name who makes drawings that look like kids made them) totally looks like this!”. Maybe the form is completely mastered but not the thoughts behind it because the output of a child’s imagination is fresh. We’re just all jaded and hungry for irony.
JeongMee Yoon’s current work, “The Pink and Blue Projects” explores the trends in cultural preferences and the differences in the tastes of children (and their parents) from diverse cultures, ethnic groups as well as gender socialization and identity. The work also raises other issues, such as the relationship between gender and consumerism, urbanization, the globalization of consumerism and the new capitalism. The topic seems to be well tread territory already but it’s still crazy to visualize. Some of the poses that these kids strike are interesting too.