Toys for the New Generation

I began conceptualizing this project after reading a horrific article that described a school shooting in New York City in the late 1980’s. In response, I started making a series of play toys, not realizing this issue would make national headlines over and over again in the 1990’s and by the time the incident at Columbine occurred, this project was underway and the nation began to face a serious crisis.

I reversed the common materials used in manufacturing and sculpted stuffed animals out of sheet metal and weapons out of faux fur. In order to give the metal a soft and fabric like appearance, I manipulated it on the anvil. Although they seem soft in texture, the animals are heavy, cold, and extremely difficult to play with. A lost and neglected look is purposefully imposed on their faces to provide the viewer with a sense of their abandonment. In contrast, the weapons are warm, fuzzy, inviting, fun, and safe. These soft and harmless objects bring on all the posturing of the real thing without the capacity for destruction.

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