Friday Photo: Viktor Koen’s Dark Peculiar Toys

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By Stephanie Murg Comment

The Velveteen Rabbit meets Blade Runner in “Dark Peculiar Toys,” an exhibition of photographs by Viktor Koen that opens Thursday, October 4 at the United Photo Industries Gallery in Brooklyn. Koen’s dystopian playthings evoke the scarred and spooky future stars of a Steampunk sequel to Toy Story. “Their appeal lies solely in the tendency children (of any age) have to cannibalize existing objects in order to fuse their own,” says the artist of his “tragic action figures” in a statement about the project, which has been previously exhibited in Berlin, Boston, and Athens. “These creations come at odds with their carefully planed origins and brake gender and age molds by defying children experts, focus groups, and sales projections. The newly assembled toys, though somewhat dramatic and traumatic due to their darkness, evoke our emotions and form a connection with us, by taking a place in our personal memories. Not in a ‘lost childhood blah, blah, blah’ way—but as images that communicate nostalgia and joy, or the nostalgia of joy.”

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