Stephen Ives’ ‘Toy’

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Published:  April 19, 2011
Stephen Ives’ ‘Toy’

In the 1970’s a toy was essentially a toy, then came Star Wars and the world of child entertainment changed forever. ‘You saw the movie now buy the softdrink’…books, board games, computer games, figurines, costumes, t-shirts, pyjamas, cups,  fast food, lunchboxes, theme parks, TV shows, reality shows (shows about reality shows), musicals, mobile phones, computers, designer gadgets, cars, lifestyle choices, life… marketing gone wrong (or maybe right?), where does the child end and the adult begin? Is it about toys or are we being toyed with?

Unfortunately the exhibition at No Vacancy has just been completed but it still warrants some attention as Stephen Ives’ Toy show was so damn enthralling to say the least.

I stumbled upon his show quite by accident whilst strolling through the QV in central Melbourne yesterday afternoon. And I am glad I did.

Stephen’s takes on some of the most iconic toys and twists and manipulates them into something entirely different, unique and perplexing!

One could literally spend hours gazing at his work as their is so much detail on offer. His sculptures and toy manipulations feature layers of oddities and surprises.

I found myself picking up my jaw from the floor just in time to take some photos of his work to share with the desktop readers.

Stephen Ives 'Toy' - Barbi Karli

Stephen Ives 'Toy' - The Visible Man Circa 1976

Stephen Ives 'Toy'

Stephen Ives 'Toy'

Stephen Ives 'Toy'

Stephen Ives 'Toy'

Stephen Ives 'Toy'

Some information on Stephen from the No Vacancy website:

Stephen Ives (Stef) was born in Southern England, apart from running around on the green, green South Downs most of his childhood appears to have been spent inside a large pile of LEGO. At the impressionable age of 12 his family moved to Australia. He continued to draw and make stuff… he completely failed to get into Art College.

Since rediscovering his artistic momentum in his mid twenties he has exhibited regularly in Melbourne. In recent years he has had his work shown in London, Paris, Brussels, New York, Santa Fe and Copenhagen in various art fairs and galleries. He is currently represented in Europe by ADCO:VENUE Gallery in Copenhagen.

His work has been bought by collectors in Australia, England and Germany as well as some of the foremost art collectors in Denmark including Christian Stadil (owner of Hummel Sport), Lars Christian Brask (EFG International) and the Danske Bank.

For more information on Stephan and his work, do check out the following links:

Stephen’s Blog.
Stephen’s MySpace.

And take a sneak peek inside Stephen’s studio here.

5 Responses

  1. Stephen’s work is truly amazing. I wish I could have photographed more but you get all sorts of dirty looks from people present so it makes it hard and uncomfortable. Even when you are trying to promote the artist as best as you can!

    It’s really unfortunate the show is over because his work has to be seen to be believed. Keep your eyes peeled tho, I am sure Stephen will be exhibiting again.

  2. Sam

    What an ace show! Nothing like his work here in Australia;
    I could suggest a lot of Stef’s influences: Kris Kuksi meets Mark Ryden meets Jamie Hewlett meets AA Milne…

  3. Those are amazing! You can check out his site and see one of the work counter shots with the stig in a glass display which was probably the basis for the pooh jesus.

    Wonderful detail and really different to what I normally see, or would expect to see in a gallery.

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