Artist and toymaker Spencer Hansen returns to Skye Gallery
IF YOU GO …
What: Spencer Hansen’s ‘Strangers’
Where: Skye Gallery
When: Opening reception Saturday, Dec. 14, 6 p.m. Exhibition runs through Jan. 28
More info: skyegalleryaspen.com
The multidisciplinary artist Spencer Hansen has been on nearly a yearlong journey with Aspen’s Skye Gallery.
It began early this year with his popular “Please Play” exhibition at the downtown space and continued with the Skye’s first foray into the international frenzy surrounding Art Basel Miami, where the gallery presented Hansen’s “Strangers” at Aqua Art Miami.
On Saturday night, Hansen’s new exhibition comes to Skye Gallery in downtown Aspen.
As the title suggests, “Please Play” encouraged viewers quite literally to play with Hansen’s furry, bendable art objects.
“I hope it inspires us to play with the creatures,” he said at the opening in January. “I don’t want a static environment.”
The works at that show were handmade sculptures — most of them made with bendable wire, foam and beads inside of woven stuffed animal exteriors.
The uncanny new creatures featured in “Strangers” are unmistakably from the same imagination, though fashioned in wood, metal, ceramics, bone and leather.
An interdisciplinary artist who graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute, Hansen straddles the worlds of mass-produced toys, textiles and fine art. His toy line BLAMO makes otherworldly creatures that encourage play and look like nothing else you’ll find in a toy store and his BLAMO clothing line includes Hansen’s spin on hats, outerwear and the like along with playful onesies for adults.
“I’ve been making creatures as long as I can remember,” he said of the interrelated toy, fashion and art pieces. “I think of them all as sort of cousins from a different planet.”
Originally from rural Idaho, Hansen works out of a studio in Bali, which he and friends built out of recycled Javanes boat wood.
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Painter Annie Decamp met the Denver-based artist Michael Dowling at a show a few years ago, and asked if he would mentor her.