This last Friday, the Museum of Art and History in Lancaster, California (MOAH) celebrated over twenty years of toy art with their retrospective exhibition, "The Art of Toys". The exhibit is the first of its kind for the west coast, featuring some of the movement's most memorable pieces by artists and their manufacturers. The first modern designer toys hit the market in the 1990s, with many of their creators originating in the Lowbrow, New Contemporary, and even graffiti scenes. Recognizing the potential for the collectibility of their characters, participating artists like Tim Biskup, Mark Ryden, Nathan Jurevicius, and even Hi-Fructose's own Attaboy, began marketing their designs to collectors as limited editions.
Lebanon remains at the heart of fierce conflict, which makes toy photographer Brian McCarty’s "War Toys" project an ongoing effort. The project is currently focused on representing the perspectives of Iraqi, Syrian, Kurdish, Palestinian, and Lebanese child refugees as a result of continuous war. Covered here, he has also visited West Bank, Gaza Strip, Israel, Ukraine, Sudan and Colombia. Today, there are over 1 million refugees alone - out of a total population of 4.8 million in Lebanon. Since 2014, McCarty has been working throughout the region to gather various accounts from Lebanese and Syrian children in cooperation with the Kayany Foundation and his team, including art therapist Myra Saad.