UK artist Ryan McElhinney‘s love for art started as a seven-year-old child drawing cartoon characters. Recycling toys in the name of art, the childlike playfulness of McElhinney’s latest sculpture work shows elements of his childhood love for cartoons shining through.
Ryan Mc Elhinney was born in Dublin in 1973. Classically trained as an Animator, Ryan has worked on many Feature movies in Europe and America for Walt Disney and 20th Century Fox. While working with Arizona-based Fox, a chance reading of the first issue of Wallpaper magazine set him on a different path. “Contemporary design was like a breath of fresh air”, explains McElhinney. A career as a product designer blossomed, along with a love of local thrift and house clearance stores. Trawling for materials quickly became an obsession, with McElhinney’s natural eye and vivid imagination ensuring he spotted the perfect finds to bring to life his early designs. Full of expression and movement, dollar-a-bag sacks of second-hand plastic toys became the designer’s chosen medium. Telling a story with each manipulation, Mc Elhinney meticulously painted and fused together each figure in a six week process, creating the first in his series of ‘Toy’ frames and lamp bases.
Endlessly inventive, designs range from the Knot sofa, winner of the Peugeot Design Awards and finalist in both the BIDA and FX awards, to the Swarovski crystal-encrusted ‘groom and groom’ figures rumored to have topped Elton and David’s wedding cake. Today, recycling is more current than ever and remains at the heart of McElhinney’s work. Fusing old and new, he transforms found objects to continuously surprising effect. A world away from the dated image of how recycled should look, his sexy, urban projects and hand-made one-of-a-kind sculptures have enjoyed the attention of design aficionados from Philippe Starck to Kanye West, who recently enthused about the designer’s subversively glamorous gold-painted Toy Lamps.
Commissions include a nine-foot-tall Toy Tree for The Gallery at Sketch, Award winning Salon Interiors for Adee Phelan in London and Birmingham, residential projects for Carrie Fisher and the interiors of four bars co-owned with his brother. McElhinney’s sculptures have been sold around the world; from Singapore to Berlin, each one unique and impressive.
Hector is shown lunging forward holding a baby's feeding bottle in one hand and a wounded Bunny in his other. The baby's bottle represents the everyday feeding of Propoganda and agenda by news sources and government that l ads to repeated wars and victims. Made from used toys and wood on a steel frame. Polyurethane paint finish. Resin. 2 meters tall.
The Bunny represents a wounded child as a victim of all this and both the bottle and Bunny together shows the continual feeding and notion of history repeating itself again and again. The statue itself (Hector) is comprised images of conflict and war within his body. There is a tiny bombed city on his back placed inside the doors If a toy space shuttle. From the front Hector is face looks almost evil. The result of having to deal with the stress of all he has witnessed in Life and War. From the back you see the innocent face of Hector revealing what he was like as a young boy before he went to war. In general Hector is himself another innocent victim and Pawn of War.
Medium 35mm SQUARE BOX STEEL STRUCTURE COVERED IN WOOD AND SCULPTED USING PLASTIC TOYS SPRAY COATED IN SATIN BEDEC PAINT.
Size in cm's 2 METRES HIGH INCLUDING A BASE OF 14CM