I’ve been studying various sources to get snippets about why toys are so fascinating to toy photographers and the general public alike. So far I’ve absorbed On Longing by Susan Stewart, The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bechelard, the documentary Marwencol, and various videos, articles and artist statements by and about miniaturists and toy photographers.
Today, I’d like to present those ideas, in summary, to you.
1 – Toys allow for a comparison between fantasy and reality
2 – Toys are nostalgic
3 – Toys lend to fun and playfulness
4 – Toys can form a dream-like, unreachable world
“The inanimate toy repeats the still life’s theme of arrested life, the life of the tableau. But once the toy becomes animated, it initiates another world, the world of the daydream.” – On Longing by Susan Stewart
5 – Toys are a frozen place in time, a slowing down of the outside world
6 – Toy environments can be fully controlled
7 – Toys are representational icons – whether of self, place, time, etc.
8 – Toys offer an immersive escape
“But the causality of smallness stirs all our senses…” – The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard
9 – Toys offer ways to work with your hands
10 – Toy environments are intimate, they pull you in closer
In short, toys are magical.
Many photographers on this blog have answered the question “why?” regarding themselves and toy photography. Have you asked yourself why lately?
Let me know what you would add to the list in a comment below.