Toy photographer Brian McCarty comes to the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art on Oct. 6 to share insight on his ongoing project, WAR-TOYS. The artist has visited countries like Syria, Iraq, and Israel since 2011, allowing kids to art-direct his photographs of found toys. The scenes emulate the atrocities witnessed by the children and their fears. At times, the backdrops for these photos are the actual sites of the events described. A piece by McCarty appeared on the first issue of Hi-Fructose Magazine.
McCarty uses art therapy techniques and is aided by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, Israel Trauma Coalition, Kayany Foundation, and Spafford Children’s Center to do this. His work has been documented by the likes of Wired, Washington Post, CNN, and others. This talk details the project and displays some of the photographs associated with WAR-TOYS. Dr. Julia Byers, a consultant for the project and art therapy expert, also speaks.
McCarty’s work has often been associated with movements like pop surrealism, lowbrow, and art-toy, though the artist’s work seems to exist outside of those confines, in both the commercial and fine art worlds. In WAR-TOYS, drawings by the children are collected and become part of its ongoing narratives.
McCarty’s talk takes place Oct. 6 at 6:30 p.m. Admission runs free for MOCA members and $5 for non-members.