March 24, 2014

MichToy's Links & Web Gems: Toy Soldier Art!

Artist Joe Black is known for making massive mosaic-like works based on popular imagery, using large quantities of manufactured miniature objects.  To make his works, Black says that he will use anything small and plentiful—ball bearings, Lego bricks, button pins, and coolest of all...toy soldiers —as long as it relates to the image. For example, his work Made in China (2011) depicts a famous 1938 portrait of a Chinese boy soldier, crafted from over 5,500 toy soldiers manufactured in China. His other subjects reference popular culture, politics, war, iconic artworks, and mass media imagery.

Made in China
Produced using more than 5500 toy soldiers. The portrait is of a Chinese soldier boy taken by photographer Robert Capa. The image was used on the front cover of LIFE magazine, January 1938 to cover the Sino Japanese War. The toy soldiers are manufactured in China, hence the title “Made in China”

Workers of the World Unite

Mixed media and 15,000 hand-painted plastic toy soldiers on aluminum  size 310 x 215 cm.

The work references the power of Chairman Mao to lead his Red Army and the population of China under communist rule. The image plays on a quote from the Little Red Book and encapsulates the idea of one man as a unifying and equalizing force over thousands.

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