Brian McCarty “Art Toys”
Book release and signing party
Thursday, Sept. 9th, 6-9PM
Make no mistake about it: the art world, the traditional art world is over. – Douglas Rushkoff
ART-TOYS is a massive collection of Brian McCarty’s meticulously composed photographs that uniquely chronicle the Art-Toy movement. For six years, McCarty worked alongside a host of international artists, photographing their toy characters in actual locations ranging from the Grand Canyon to Times Square. The resulting photos are sometimes dark, often funny, and always hinting at a deeper story. The moments that McCarty manufactures in front of the camera feel real, as if he’s simply documenting the day-to-day lives of toys.
Each of the over 100 photographs stand alone on a page, allowing viewers an unfettered look at the world from McCarty’s toy-based perspective. An extensive behind the scenes section is included at the back of the book, providing a narrative glimpse at McCarty’s methods and the artists with whom he collaborates. Snapshots taken on set reveal the brilliantly simple techniques behind some of his most magical and iconic images.
Because the toys that McCarty photographs are simultaneously art objects and consumer goods, many of his images were created to serve both creative and commercial goals. As such, they provide a unique perspective on the art and commerce of the Designer Toy / Urban Vinyl movement. A number of books have explored the content of the Art-Toy movement before, but this is the only collection that captures the energy and the attitude of a new era in Pop Art from the perspective of a fellow artist.
Artists with toy work included: Alex Pardee, Amanda Visell, Andrew Bell, Ashley Wood, Attaboy, Bob Dob, Brandt Peters, Craig Anthony Perkins, Frank Kozik, FriendsWithYou, Gama-Go, Gary Baseman, Greg “Craola” Simkins, James Jarvis, Jeremy Fish, Jermaine Rogers, Joe Ledbetter, Kathie Olivas, Lili Chin, Luke Chueh, Mario “MARS-1” Martinez, Mark Mothersbaugh, Mark Nagata, Mark Ryden, Meredith Dittmar, Michelle Valigura, mr clement, Noferin, Patrick Ma, Ralph Cosentino, Roy Miles, Sam Flores, Santa Inoue, Sara Antoinette Martin, Sebastien Roux, Sergey Safonov, Scott Musgrove, Scott Tolleson, Simone Legno, Tim Biskup, Wilfrid Wood, Yoskay Yamamoto, and others.
The special, limited edition of ART-TOYS features an alternate cover free of text, packaged in a vinyl slipcase. Each book is individually numbered and signed by Brian McCarty and eighteen world-known artists whose work is showcased inside. Included are Attaboy, Gary Baseman, Tim Biskup, Hugh Brown, Luke Chueh, Lili Chin, Bob Dob, Frank Kozik, Joe Ledbetter, Patrick Ma, Mark Nagata, Craig Perkins, Mark Ryden, Greg “Craola” Simkins, Scott Tolleson, Michelle Valigura, Amanda Visell, and Yoskay Yamamoto. Mario “MARS-1” Martinez and Sam Flores are also included in a rare number of “chase” books.
We have been living for too long in the wake of Walter Benjamin’s prescient but ultimately depressing essay, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.” He correctly demonstrated how photographs of art remove works from their original contexts – the media successfully diminishing a painting’s original “aura” of context and place. Now, and thanks to the Art-Toy movement, we may actually be entering an era when a work of art’s aura is not diminished but enhanced or even *created* by the media supporting it. – Douglas Rushkoff
Hard cover, 240 Pages, 10.5″ x 9″, Published by Baby Tattoo Books, Los Angeles
Brian McCarty (mccartyphotoworks.com, brianmccarty.com) is a Memphis-born photographer currently living and working in Los Angeles. McCarty studyed at the Parsons School of Design in New York City and the Benetton-supported creative research center Fabrica in Treviso, Italy. According to McCarty, “About the time I was supposed to grow up and stop playing with toys, they transitioned into subjects for my photography.” In the twenty years since, his toy photography has been exhibited internationally and seen via commissioned projects for clients such as Rockstar Games, Cartoon Network, MTV, and Kidrobot. In addition, McCarty spent nearly four years as in-house photographer at Mattel.
McCarty’s postmodern integration of concept and character has earned his photography a prominent position in the growing Urban Vinyl / Art-Toy movement. McCarty is featured in several books chronicling the artistic movement such as Vinyl Will Kill, Dot Dot Dash, and Toys: New Designs from the Art-Toy Revolution. McCarty’s work has earned notable praise from such places as Bizarre Magazine (July, 2010), L’Uomo Vogue (February, 2007), ABC World News(October 31st, 2006), FHM Germany (April, 2010), and XLR8R Magazine (January, 2009). In addition to his still photography work, McCarty recently co-created, produced, and art-directed an animated series based upon his photography that went into development for Nickelodeon.
Continuing to expand his work, Brian is currently developing a documentary film and photo essay on children’s experiences of war as expressed by principles of play and art therapy.