If the magical days of childhood are as universal as we remember and believe then that might be a clue to the origins and possible success of It’s Like Toys in Here.
The Detroit Artist Market’s new show, running Jan. 16 – Feb. 14, allows four artists from three generations to look through nostalgia and show the public what they see in their childhoods.
Those who venture to the show will get a glimpse at what childhood curiosity means to each of the four artists … Andy Malone, Mary Fortuna, Shaina Kasztelan, and the late Matthew Blake. The varied styles show the common experience of childhood not only from the vantage point of the four artists but from the three generations … Baby Boomers, Gen-X, and Gen-Y.
The nostalgic trip is achieved through multiple art styles .., 2-D, 3-D and instillation art, which includes art embedded with pop culture icons, nostalgic images from childhood, and dream-like creatures.
While the name may give the idea that the showing is just artists pining over the trinkets of youth that is not the case. Toys are only a part of the idea. The ideas linked to toys are the bigger picture, hopefully conjuring up ideas and memories of childhood curiosity and spirit of play along with the storytelling and mediating associated with toys. Serious themes displayed with playful interface and fun aesthetics.
Among the artists on display is the late Matthew Blake, who died at the age of 43, and was a long-time supporter of Detroit. Aside from being an artist and musician, he renovated homes in the area and mentored inner-city youth. He studied industrial design at the College of Creative Studies and had his work shown in New York, Atlanta, and Tokyo.
Andy Malone is known for his whimsical machines, board games and drawings, which have been shown in over thirty exhibitions since 1995. Two of Andy’s mini golf holes were displayed on the lawn of the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) as part of their grand re-opening gala in the summer/fall of 2007. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Detroit Mercy and has worked in the exhibit and custom furniture industry.
Puppets and dolls are the most eye catching thing to be said about Mary Fortuna’s work. Active in the Detroit art scene for more than a quarter of a decade, Fortuna’s work has been seen all over Michigan. The unique style has also been appreciated overseas, including Germany, China, and the Czech Republic.
The youngest of the group Shaina Kasztelan graduated from the College of Creative studies in 2012. However, she has been exposing her art all over Metro Detroit since 2009. In 2013, Kasztelan was published in Cranbrook Institute of Arts & North End Studios’ Navel.
Nostalgia will collide head on with present day, as the visions of four artist channel their own youth for the interested viewers.
The opening reception begins at 6:00 pm at The Detroit Artists Market on Jan.16 but you can take in the exhibit for the next month.