Toy Box - Action Men in Love I by Roy Salter

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Artist Statement

Toy Box is not a unified body of work, but instead a collection of experimental photographs exploring the emotive potential of children’s toys. Inspired by cult horror films such as Stuart Gordon’s ‘Dolls’(1987) as well as Todd Haynes’ infamous underground text, ‘Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story‘(1987), I began to explore the prospect of infusing life into inanimate man-made objects.

These inert beings possess the features and physical attributes of the human form, yet are ultimately artificial objects, factory made creations composed of various plastic fractions. Light reflects upon their glossy hollow bodies, their fingers and toes are bound as one, and their facial expressions remain unchanging. They are branded by their makers like cattle, and lack the organs necessary for reproduction, yet is it possible to identify with these manufactured items in a dramatic, adult, and ultimately human way – moving beyond the limited perceptions of surface.

These photographs do not deny the reality of the objects, but instead seeks to instill, without the use of digital manipulation processes, a sense of life and personality, utilizing the cameras ability to distort appearance and perception whilst forming juxtaposition between the dramatic and ‘adult’ sensibility of the images, with the innocence of the children’s toys. This allows one to question their status as purely inert beings, making it possible to believe that they could be capable of movement, as well as emotion.


broken, vinyl, doll, vintage, toy, barbie, gay, nursery, porcelain, queer, drama, bisque, dollies, still life, life like, antique doll, action man


  • Colleen Milburn
    Colleen Milburnover 4 years ago

    Love these works, Roy.

  • scallyart
    scallyartover 4 years ago

    These definately tell a story. Dolls are much more intesting when they are weathered and worn.

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