Toy Comix

I found about the exhibition Toy Comix when reading Cati’s blog who read about it on another blog. So now i am telling everyone because i visited the show on Saturday and it is so so good.

0aatoycomcx.jpgYes this is a big image but a really cute one too

The basics: Toy Comix, which explores the importance of toys and games in contemporary comic strips worldwide, is running until March 9 at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.

0amyserriroiuh.jpg0adcrisi.jpgFor Aleksandar Zograf, the mysterious bear-doll is facing some identity issues (Photos by Jean Tholance)

The goods: The curators invited contemporary artists to pick up a toy in their collection and create an art piece starring the toy. The result is that an exhibition which you’d expect to be for the Under 12 Only is a huge hit with adults.

Comic strip artists who had shown a particular interest for toys in the past were asked to feature the toy as the main protagonist of a story in 3 comic strips.

0aafelllxcomx.jpg0aafelixxxx.jpgMax Andersson strips starring Felix the Cat (Photo by Jean Tholance) and the 3D vintage model

Other artists were commissioned an installation –which the museum calls a “universe”– revolving around toys.

Benoit Jacques used discarded materials to build a flying vessels surrounded by smaller flying objects (planes, birds, parachutes, etc.) and angels made especially for the project. Poudre d’Anges (Angel Powder) is light, dreamy and poetic.

0aicaruus1.jpg0aaicarrus.jpgHelge Reumann & Xavier Robel suspended some of their Soft Fabric Toys, plush pink objects with organic shapes, and mixed them with wooden toys, race cars, latex super heroes in ridiculous posture, etc.


– For his installation Perte de connaissance sous les visages (Loss of consciousness under the faces) Stephane Blanquet took his cue from Hans Bellmer‘s eerie dolls. selected dolls from the 19th and early 20th century and had them done masks. The dolls, most of them stripped down from their luxurious clothes, are slightly scary and threatening. They sit, stand or hang above a ground which looks dirty and unwelcoming.


– Winshluss, Cizo and Felder created the Jouets M. Ferraille, Chambre de démonstration avec enfant (Toys Mister Ferraille, Demo room with child).
M. Ferraille is a fictitious brand, a brain child of the artist, a fake Disney-like empire whose main protagonist isn’t a mouse called Mickey, but a subversive tin character which is also the hero of a comic strip. For the exhibition, Winshluss, Cizo and Felder recreated the room of a kid and filled it with posters of Monsieur Ferraille and what the artists call a “beautiful collection of ugly toys.”


Also on show: the OuBaPo (Ouvroir de Bande-dessinée Potentielle (Potential Comics Workshop) made a collective work which reflects on other artists’ contributions to the exhibition; Sardon’s Le Tampographe installation, the Pecking Chicken movies by Jean-Michel Thiriet which feature the adventures of a mechanical chicken; interviews of artists talking about their favourite childhood toy.


All my images. Slideshow at the website of the Musee des Arts Decoratifs.