FEBRUARY 26-AUGUST 1, 2009

Primarily focused on material from his children’s books, Games, Gizmos, and Toys in the Attic entreats the audience to enjoy the creative play of image and text.  As a photographer and author of over 30 children’s books, Wick draws upon tradition of the picture book in which words and pictures form a contrapuntal relationship to tell a story that is both aurally and visually stimulating. Wick combines narrative with riddles, puzzle, and optical games—all constructed from familiar toys and household objects—to produce themed books that prompt children to observe, analyze and invent. This exhibition offers a multi-level theatrical experience. Seen outside the binding, larger than life, yet still within a frame, each image takes on diorama or stage set quality. The viewer peers into a magical world that is obviously fabricated, yet intriguing enough to cause the viewer to suspend their disbelief and engage in the world of make believe. Wick then pulls back the curtain and invites his audience on a backstage tour.  The audience has the opportunity to explore the making of the images through early concept photographs, models, and videos. The play in the gallery ultimately brings the audience back to the original source—the books and the pleasure that comes from the interplay of the word and the picture.  As stated by Jean Marzollo, Walter Wick’s collaborator in the “I SPY” series the books are designed to “help children look at the world more carefully, use language more vividly, and think more creatively.”

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