Last weekend, the Mrs. and I joined a few friends of ours for a tour of a special exhibit at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, MD. The exhibit is entitled "Walter Wick: Games, Gizmos and Toys in the Attic", and it will on display until January 2, 2011. As described by the museum's site, the exhibit "feature(s) a selection of Wick’s early photographs, which provided a foundation for the artist’s interest in illusions. It include(s) several of the handcrafted, meticulously detailed installation models accompanied by his large-format color photographs that are the illustrations in his children’s books. Together they ... provide a behind-the-scenes look at the artist’s creative process and a window into the puzzles and illusions for which he is so well known."
It's an excellent exhibit, and I highly recommend it for anyone who is interested in photography, miniatures, optical illusions, and/or children's books. Yet what makes this exhibit worthy of mention on this blog is it details how many of the techniques Wick uses in his work are the same as those used by special effects wizards in the pre-CGI era of filmmaking, essentially revealing how Wick's work is an ongoing celebration of the photographic artisty that's responsible for generations of fantasy, horror and sci-fi film buffs. Furthermore, some of the miniatures that are on display are from two of Wick's books, Can You See What I See? Dream Machine and Can You See What I See? On A Scary Scary Night. The photos in both of these books capture the whimsical worldview of budding fantasy/horror/sci-fi geeks, those who are experiencing the flashy amusement of retro-futuristic toys and the dark allure of haunted houses for the very first time. It's a great way to kick off the Halloween season.
Click below to see pictures that I took of some of Wick's miniatures that are on display.