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    Evoking Childhood Nostalgia, Color and Cartoon Commotion Burst from Kayla Mahaffey’s Paintings

    
    Art

    #acrylic
    #cartoons
    #childhood
    #kids
    #painting

    September 15, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    “No Harm Done.” All images courtesy of Thinkspace Projects, shared with permission
    Surrounding Black children with jumbled masses of cartoon characters, doodles, and explosions of color, Chicago-based artist Kayla Mahaffey (previously) imagines adolescent daydreams and an array of playtime inventions. She infuses her acrylic paintings with a longing for carefree summer days, mornings spent watching the foibles of favorite animated characters, and hours left open for adventure, capturing feelings of joy and curiosity. Vividly rendered and layered with squiggles and globs of color, the large-scale works find “value in the sugar-coated nostalgia,” which Mahaffey explains:
    There have been numerous occasions where we omit the truths of our past to only be met with the disappointments of the future, a never-ending cycle that has influenced our current era for the best and the worst. Even though we’re currently going through a very troubling era, let’s take a moment to remember those times where we felt the most safe or where we felt the happiest. Many of us wish to go back to that life, but not to change anything, but to feel a few cherished things, once again.
    If you’re near Culver City, you can see the pieces shown here as part of Remember the Time at Thinkspace Projects from September 18 to October 9. Otherwise, find Mahaffey on Instagram to see where she’s headed next.

    “The Sweet Escape”
    “Head in the Clouds”
    “The Child In Us”
    “Tender, Love, and Care (TLC)”
    “Beautiful Day In The…”

    Left: “No Public Enemy.” Right: “Kid In Play”
    “Daydreamin”

    #acrylic
    #cartoons
    #childhood
    #kids
    #painting

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    ‘Banksy Graffitied Walls and Wasn’t Sorry’ Is a Cleverly Illustrated Book Introducing Kids to the Elusive Artist

    
    Art
    Illustration

    #books
    #kids
    #street art

    May 21, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    All images courtesy of Phaidon
    Banksy Graffitied Walls and Wasn’t Sorry introduces the life and work of the anonymous street artist to some of the youngest readers. The 48-page book is cleverly written as a plainspoken autobiography, detailing both Banksy’s aesthetic sensibilities and surveying his decades-long career, including references to Dismaland, his “Better Out Than In” residency in New York, signature rats, and the subversive, overtly political messages of his pieces and antics. Illustrated in Fausto Gilberti’s whimsical style, the largely black-and-white drawings are playful and humorous and contextualize Banky’s profound impact and mysterious, unapologetic reputation in a manner fit for kids.
    Published by Phaidon, Banksy Graffitied Walls and Wasn’t Sorry is Gilberti’s fourth in a series exploring the legacies of some of the most well-known artists, including Yayoi Kusama, Jackson Pollock, and Yves Klein. Shop the complete collection on Bookshop. (via Kottke)

    #books
    #kids
    #street art

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    Bold Bands of Paint Bisect Playful Sculptures of Carved Wood by Willy Verginer

    
    Art

    #acrylic
    #games
    #kids
    #sculpture
    #wood

    March 24, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    Detail of “I pensieri non fanno rumore” (2019), different types of wood, acrylic color, 150 x 100 x 107 centimeters. All images © Willy Verginer, shared with permission
    Clusters of wooden spheres bubble up the fingertips and bodies of the children in Willy Verginer’s poetic sculptures. The Italian artist (previously) contrasts realistic carvings of adolescent figures with elements of whimsy and imagination. Alongside the forms that evoke childhood games are thick stripes of monochromatic paint, which wrap around the sculptures and bisect them in unusual places.
    Whether a pastel, neutral tone, or black, the color is symbolic and used to convey subtle messages. Verginer’s works often stem from what he sees as the absurdity of ecological issues or larger societal problems, like the U.S. banking collapse. “My largest effort and research focus on not tying myself to the naturalistic representation of figures, but on giving something more through a dreamlike study, or better an absurd one, and not an imaginary one,” he says. “This world and the whole connected system were so absurd that they made me reproduce an equally absurd situation.”

    Detail of “Chimica del pensiero” (2019), lindenwood, acrylic color, 168 x 46 x 45 centimeters
    Many of the sculptures shown here are part of Verginer’s most recent series, Rayuela, which is the Spanish term for hopscotch and the title of Julio Cortázar’s counter-novel that can be read from front to back or vice versa. Written in a stream-of-consciousness style, the book produces varying endings and meanings depending on the reader’s sequence. Cortázar’s adventurous format combined with the imaginative nature of the game informed Vreginer’s approach to the series, which the artist explains:
    (In rayuela), kids outline an ideal map on the ground, which starts from the earth and reaches the sky, through intermediate stages marked with numbered squares, on which they jump according to where a pebble is thrown. I can see a metaphor of life in this game; our existence is full of these jumps and obstacles. Each of us aims to reach a sort of sky.
    In June, Toronto’s Gallery LeRoyer will have an exhibition of Verginer’s precisely carved works, and the artist has another slated for September at the Zemack Contemporary Art in Tel Aviv. Until then, find more of his sculptures on Instagram.

    “Pensieri nascosti” (2020), lindenwood, acrylic color, 172 x 39 x 33 centimeters
    “Chimica del pensiero” (2019), lindenwood, acrylic color, 168 x 46 x 45 centimeters
    “I pensieri non fanno rumore” (2019), different types of wood, acrylic color, 150 x 100 x 107 centimeters
    “Scisserlé,” lindenwood, acrylic color, 200 x 59 x 46 centimeters
    “Palvaz” (2019), lindenwood, acrylic color, 95 x 70 x 47 centimeters
    “Rayuela” (2020), tiglio, acrylic color, 123 x 110 x 90 centimeters

    #acrylic
    #games
    #kids
    #sculpture
    #wood

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    Mixed-Media Portraits by Nelson Makamo Reflect Childhood Innocence and Wonder

    
    Art

    #charcoal
    #Johannesburg
    #kids
    #painting
    #portraits

    February 12, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    All images © Nelson Makamo, shared with permission
    Nelson Makamo (previously) is known for his oversized, lively portraits of the children and teens he meets around Johannesburg. Using a distinct blend of acrylic, watercolors, monotypes, silkscreen, and oil paint, the South African artist often delineates their silhouettes with a thick line of charcoal before adding colorful details to their clothing and faces. The resulting works are simultaneously earnest and imbued with a sense of wonder.
    Whether posed or engaged in rowdy activities, many of the subjects sport bright, round glasses, emphasizing Makamo’s focus on viewing the world through the lens of childhood. His subjects “embody the peace and harmony we all strive for in life, the search for eternal joy lies in the child within us all. We are just so consumed with worldly things that we forget the simplicity of life through a child’s perspective,” he says in a statement.
    Makamo recently closed a solo exhibition at Botho Project Space this January, and you can find more of his dynamic pieces on Artsy and Instagram.

    #charcoal
    #Johannesburg
    #kids
    #painting
    #portraits

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    A Small Scottish Town Delegates the Annual Christmas Light Display to Its Youngest Residents

    
    Art

    #holidays
    #kids
    #light
    #public art
    #Scotland
    #street art

    December 22, 2020
    Grace Ebert

    All images via Poppy McKenzie Smith, shared with permission
    In a delightful holiday tradition, the small town of Newburgh in southern Scotland tasks its youngest residents with creating the glowing Christmas decorations that adorn the streets. Now in its 19th year, the annual event begins with school-age kids submitting their quirky designs to a competition. Once a winner is chosen, the artwork is sent to Blachere Illumination to be translated into LED before it’s unveiled at a ceremony held at Lampost 15, where the new work is hung each year. The winning artist gets the honor of turning on the light, illuminating their crooked gingerbread figure or beaming reindeer for the 2,000-plus residents to enjoy. In a similarly charming practice, the runner-up’s art is featured on the town’s Christmas card. (via It’s Nice That)

    #holidays
    #kids
    #light
    #public art
    #Scotland
    #street art

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    Takashi Murakami’s Iconic Flowers Engulf a CT Suite at a Washington D.C. Children’s Hospital

    
    Art

    #flowers
    #healthcare
    #hospitals
    #kids

    November 4, 2020
    Grace Ebert

    All images © Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd., by Kenson Noel, shared with permission
    Takashi Murakami recently transformed a sterile PET/CT scan suite at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C., into an uplifting garden of smiling flowers. The Japanese artist’s signature motif lines the walls and wraps around the machine itself, making the otherwise stark space less intimidating for its adolescent patients as they undergo the often lengthy and uncomfortable scanning procedure. The vibrant installation was completed in collaboration with RxArt, a nonprofit that commissions artists to create large-scale works for children’s healthcare spaces. For more from RxArt and Murakami, visit Instagram. (via Spoon & Tamago)

    #flowers
    #healthcare
    #hospitals
    #kids

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    Outfitted with Knights’ Helmets, Children Painted by Seth Globepainter Play in the Streets of Paris

    
    Art

    #COVID-19
    #helmets
    #kids
    #murals
    #public art
    #street art

    September 10, 2020
    Grace Ebert

    All images © Seth Globepainter, shared with permission
    French artist Julien Malland, who works as Seth Globepainter (previously), is responding to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis with a new series of murals that capture the innocence of childhood. Painted throughout the thirteenth district of Paris, the public artworks feature kids in the midst of an imaginary adventure or playful activity: one rides an oversized pigeon, another blows multicolored bubbles, and a pair appears to float above the ground to embrace.
    Each of the figures is sporting a metal knight’s helmet, a sign of protection for their physical wellbeing, in addition to a show of strength and resilience. In a note to Colossal, Globepainter says the headwear also refers to French President Emmanuel Macron’s speech in March in which he said, “We are at war,” as he closed the country’s borders and ordered residents to stay home. The murals represent the way Parisians have accepted this new way of living and are about “how children, in particular, seem to have adapted easily to it,” the artist says. “They are protected by their helmets which weigh so heavily on them. They can only see through small openings in the metal, but they continue to play as if nothing had happened.”
    To see more Globepainter’s public artworks that consider the world through the lens of childhood, follow him on Instagram.

    #COVID-19
    #helmets
    #kids
    #murals
    #public art
    #street art

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    Children’s Imaginations Materialize as Cartoon Chaos in Paintings by Artist Kayla Mahaffey

     “Picking Up the Pieces” (2019), acrylic on aluminum panel, 36 x 36 Chicago-based artist Kayla Mahaffey captures the vivid reveries occupying young minds. She juxtaposes realistically rendered figures with chaotic scenes of two-dimensional cartoon characters as they emerge from amorphous clouds and pastel commotions. Each central figure wears a distinct expression that’s reflected through […] More