We’re back with a Bang… or rather a Pew Pew.
The gallery walls have felt empty for the last few months, they are officially alive again with the opening of Super Atomic Blaster by Don German. I don’t know if it was the excitement of starting our Gallery Season for 2015, or that I was bordering on a sugar-induced coma from all the retro candy I managed to stuff my face with, but I left the opening night ecstatic to be a part of this Art in House thing.
Don’s show embodied so much of what we are about at AIH; it was evident by the way the show was received. The shows in the past have always been about celebrating the work; Super Atomic Blaster taught us to celebrate the interactive nature of the work.
We aren’t a big space, which often means the crowds at the shows usually spill out from the gallery side, into the room-with-the-orange-wall. Don’s show was completely different. It didn’t matter how many people showed up, they packed themselves into the gallery to experience his work.
It was actually pretty funny at times to see the excitement in a bunch of adults over toys, the subject of Don’s show. “I feel like I’m living my childhood over again!” was a sentiment felt by more than one person that night as we all enjoyed the artistry of Don’s work. It wasn’t long before his custom-made play table became a frenzy of battle noises, laughter, and nostalgia.
It was clear that interactivity was all part of Don’s plan for the show. In that same spirit, part of our plan for this blog was to showcase the artist’s thought process for the show, by the actual artist’s themselves. Below is our first attempt at co-authorship. Fire away Don.
Within the world of the toybox imagination of king and play is how an internal history of events begins to build, each character and object becoming legend, or at least that’s how I saw my own childhood.
The notion of play and how the act of playing can cause one to simply drift into their imagination is a strong and powerful phenomenon; one that I had experienced through my childhood. In building this exhibition finding the multitude of ways to convey this feeling was the true challenge, and with that as the focal point of the show I threw everything at it, including an adult height playtable. And so I begin to find ways to have a dialogue with my large collection of old mismatched toys, and it became a long tale of reverence, revision and reappropriation.
Seeing how the viewers became part of the show was thrilling. It simply took one person to begin investigating the toybox, fiddling with objects to start the true show. People began interacting, not knowing others around the table, taking photos of their installation with smart phones to share with others. It was fantastic.The space filled with a much more vibrant atmosphere, sparking conversations and interactions among patrons who did not show up together. Everyone at A.I.H. complimented and fed back into the spirit of the show, with contributions of retro styled candies as well as old toy commercials which added heavily to the atmosphere.