Tinkertoys, an architectural and engineering toy for children, are transformed by artist Alan Larkin into a colorful and expressive art form. “My exhibitions have always contained some playful creations made from these marvelous toys. They’re an underrated art medium.”
The original patent drawings – circa 1914 – for the original Tinkertoy
Childhood – I was introduced at a young age to the joy of Tinkertoys!
The construction of another Tinkertoy Cathedral I did back in the 1980’s which was used for a lithograph and a pencil drawing.
Tinkertoy constructions helped my drawing students to understand perspective and negative shapes.
The Tower of Power – The Wilson Gallery – April 2016
This interactive tower with moving parts was created for my art exhibition at the Wilson Gallery in Kendallville in 2016. A toy which appears to be capable only of making boxy shapes can be used to create domes, cylinders and roofed buildings. Structures can be engineered to be large, colorful and complex. And they can move!
The Tinkertoy Cathedral – South Shore Arts – June 2015
I created a section of a Gothic cathedral for a retrospective of my artwork held at South Shore Arts in Munster Indiana in June of 2015. It was based on smaller versions of cathedrals that I had built as a child and then elaborated in 1981 for the lithograph “Birth of Madness” reproduced above. As an artist I see the beauty in creating areas of great visual complexity that open up into surging structures. They create a sense of movement even though they are contained within static freestanding forms. Put away your blocks kids! They look squat and clunky in comparison.
For more information about this iconic and AMAZING toy please visit the following: