I am always thrilled when an art exhibit lends itself well to kids. I want all young people to appreciate the power of visual art to change a person, a place, and even the world. After all, art is a universal language. Don’t you want your children to speak it? When it comes to exposing my boys to art, I choose my battles accordingly. A no-brainer has always been art that incorporates toys. These pieces most often aren’t what they seem in terms of their message, but that is okay. It’s all in good fun and culture!

 

JEFF KOONS

Jeff Koons, Elephant Sculpture

 

Jeff Koons is surely the first artist who comes to mind when we think of art and toys. Play-Doh, inflatable pool toys, superheroes, basketballs…the list goes on. We adults know he is making a greater social commentary on the world and consumerism. However, the fact remains that my kids have always loved his work, and the man himself. Say what you will, Jeff Koons is a great guy who is actually awesome with kids.

 

Gagosian Gallery
Locations Internationally
gagosian.com

David Zwirner
519, 525, and 533 West 19th Street
New York City
212-727-2070
davidzwirner.com

 

JEPPE HEIN

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Jeppe Hein, Mirror Labyrinth NY. Photo: James Ewing, Courtesy Public Art Fund, NY.

 

Jeppe Hein is definitely having a moment, or likely the beginning of many. I have been seeing different iterations of his fantastic mirror art everywhere lately (everywhere in a good way, not a coming-and-going way). Right now he has a fantastic Please Touch the Art installation at Brooklyn Bridge Park. It includes his Appearing Rooms, Mirror Labyrinth NY, and Modified Social Benches. These appearing and disappearing rooms and thoughtful sculptures are intended to be an immersive, family experience.

 

Jeppe Hein: Please Touch the Art
On View Until April 17, 2016
Brooklyn Bridge Park
New York City
publicartfund.org

 

MIKE KELLEY

Mike Kelley.

Mike Kelley

 

Mike Kelley’s stuffed-animal art is actually making a statement that separates childhood and innocence, but let’s ignore that for the sake of engaging children. His art, at first, seems playful until we really examine what is happening with many of the secondhand dolls and stuffed animals. In the meantime, his pieces are a great way to involve children in a conversation about art and what the artist may be trying to express.

 

Skarstedt Gallery
20 East 79th Street
New York City
212-737-2060
skarstedt.com

Gagosian Gallery
Locations Internationally
gagosian.com

 

KAWS

KAWS, Along the Way

KAWS, Along the Way

KAWS is part of many private and public collections around the globe. Born as Brian Donnelly, this New York artist has successfully produced street art, sculpture, paintings, animation, and even actual toys. Though he has had some very interesting collaborations over the years with designers and even Pharrell, he is first and foremost an artist who incorporates children’s icons and toys into much of his work.

Galerie Perrotin
Locations in Paris, New York, and Hong Kong
perrotin.com

Xx Lottie Dottie