outside the box

Photo courtesy of Crayola.

In 1998 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Crayola's release of the 64 crayon box, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History added an original 64 box to its permanent collection; that same year, the 64 box was also inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame. This year, Crayola celebrates the 50th anniversary of this iconic toy.

Crayola has expanded its rainbow to include 96 colors, eliminated offensive crayon titles like "Indian Red" and in the mid-90s, they even expanded their variety of flesh toned colors so that kids off all backgrounds could "more accurately represent themselves", and in 1996 Fred Rogers, Mr. Rogers to you, was even given the honor of molding the 100 billionth crayon! In short, the 105 year old company has done just about everything that it can for crayons.

That's where Pete Goldlust stepped in. Goldlust lives in a world where crayons are not simply tools that are used to create art - they are the art.

In his artist's statement, Goldlust explains his work as exploring sculptural landscapes and reflecting his "interest in mutated, hybrid forms, and the disjunctive psychological sates that they represent". Where his work with crayons is concerned Goldlust explains his use of "children's arts-and-crafts materials" as an example of his sense of "play" - and essential element to his creative strategy.

While I'm not quite sure that I follow his theories 100% and I find many of his other works a little too disturbing for my taste, I can't help but take pleasure out of seeing his crayon creations. I have a deep respect for people who take the ordinary and turn it into the extraordinary. Goldust has done that with one of America's favorite 'toys'.

For more information about Pete Goldlust and his work please visit his website. And keep your eyes open, the potential for great art is in everything you see.