Title: Toy Painting FIPS (Mouse)
Medium: Painting, Synthetic polymer paint and silkscreen ink on canvas
Size: 8″ x 10″
Toy Painting FIPS (Mouse)
In 1983, Andy Warhol’s friend and colleague, Bruno Bischofberg, a gallerist in Zurich, asked Warhol to create a series of works for children. Warhol, who was fond of children, had been collecting vintage toys and children’s books, which inspired him to create the ‘Toy Paintings’. Through a combination of silkscreening and painting, Warhol created the colorful works that constituted the collection. He also designed a fish wallpaper himself, to serve as a backdrop for the lowly hung colorful works that children could easily see and resonate with.
The Toy Paintings Series, like his other work, had a powerful message. The collection focused on the packaging of the toy’s instead of the actual toys. For instance the painting Mechanical Terrier seems to be a package for a robot puppy. This may seem unusual at first, but is completely in tandem with the issue of consumerism. The message conveyed by the portrayal of the subject matter is almost that the packaging of the toy was more important than the toy itself; and that if the packaging was good then what was inside did not really matter.
Toy Painting- FIPS (Mouse) as Part of Andy Warhol’s Larger Body of Work
Warhol’s obsession with commercialization and consumerism started in the 50’s. Before Warhol established himself as a pop artist, he was a commercial artist. Naturally, this impacted him and caused a spill over, a blurred line and an interchangeability between art and commercial works. The irony here is that his commercial adverts had a whimsical touch, and his art works a cold connotation. He lionized grocery store items like soup cans to esteemed art pieces, and commodified prints of icons like Miss Monroe to commodities. Warhol was an exceptional artist and commercial designer. To him, picking the right item was as important as his technical skill. In the Toy Paintings Series he fuses painting and silkscreening, which acts as a metaphor. The silkscreening is metaphoric of the reality of the product, and the painting is metaphoric of the whim of a child deceived by deceiving packaging.