Work > War Games

Clear Security, Safety Orange
Found objects, synthetic hair
2016
Clear Security, Safety Orange (detail)
Found objects, synthetic hair
2016
Draw
Plastic, wood, metal
18" x 12" x 8"
2015
In the palm of his hand
Plastic, wood, metal
6" x 18" x 8"
2015
In the palm of his hand (detail)
Plastic, wood, metal
6" x 18" x 8"
2015
On Hand
Plastic, wood, metal
24" x 12" x 18"
2015
Made in China
Metal
12" x 12" x 4"
2016
Tactical Recoil
Plastic, wood, synthetic hair
24" x 12" x 12"
2016
Tactical Recoil (detail)
Plastic, wood, synthetic hair
2016

War Games uses reimagined children's toys to examine the American fascination with weapons of war. Each piece incorporates toys that allow children to pretend to be soldiers or police officers- both professions that are involved in state sanctioned violence. I began this series after the horrific shooting of 12 year old Tamir Rice, who was killed by police while he played with a toy gun in a public park. This tragedy and the national conversation surrounding it sparked a series of unsettling realizations. While childhood play is seen as a separate, safe space, it is clear that real violence and play violence have begun to overlap and influence one another, creating a murky line between safety and danger. In the United States today, we are witnessing the politicization of play; pretend violence is often regulated very closely, and in many cities, it is more difficult to obtain a toy gun than a real gun. Regardless of where one stands on the second amendment, this startling state of affairs can lead us to the frightening conclusion that make believe can be more dangerous than reality.