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April, WM issue #2: PLAYLAND

April, WM issue #2: PLAYLAND
Playland, Preying Boy 2006 (hairy boy/spelled prey not pray) sculpture, plastic manequin, synthetic hair, velvet, glass and wood box

pLaY LaNd

by Brendan Wilcox

 

"Our name is a play on Hollywood Land and our obsession with celebrities and Hollywood is real. We love Hollywood and the U.S.A., but we also see them as perverse. We want to fuck up some all American icons."

 

Over the past year I have had the pleasure of meeting an art collective that go by the name Play Land. I decided to finally ask them what their deal was, why they choose to remain anonymous, what their name means and what they are getting at with this celebrity obsessed art. They answered: "Our name is a play on Hollywood Land and our obsession with celebrities and Hollywood is real. We love Hollywood and the U.S.A., but we also see them as perverse. We want to fuck up some all American icons." Artists before Play Land have explored similar territory, Andy Warhol and his countless pop references, John Waters with his deliciously bad taste in cinema, and South Park's deranged view of the world. In a similar manner Play Land work off each other. They create together using ideas and things that could have otherwise been useless. Play Land are just picking up the pieces, using every medium to spread their word.


“I might run into a celebrity at a McDonald's or rehab, I'm waiting to see one working as a stripper".


Recently they have been making collage stickers, meshing various celebrities together, such as Kid Rock’s head on top of Ashley Olsen's body, Scarlet Johansson’s head on top of porn, or just Anna Nicole Smith's mouth covered up with a cut out of whatever! (from the cash, cock, whatever! -Sticker, and painting). Play Land is creating a whole new breed of icon. I asked Play Land if there was were any rules to this mish mash of characters and they said, " We try to use only celebrities that are tragic or tainted somehow. We have no use for the Nick Lachey's of the world. If you were not in Page Six recently for a stunning moral offense we don't want you." Play Land is obsessed with Hollywood in the way that Kenneth Anger was- they only want the dirty bits.

Play Land is in love with trash. They collect it from the street, from junk stores and from the media. A few pieces such as the young boy covered in hair or the claw in what looks like a Ketamine jar are compiled and built from purchased items. Play Land collects for the future. They know that through the pairing of objects a whole meaning can emerge. They showed me an old football and a pair of brass knuckles. "We bought these items separately and only realized how well they fit together. There is still a missing piece. We have not found it yet." In this way they are carrying on the tradition of such artists like Robert Rauschenberg and more recent work by Dash Snow.


"We try to use only celebrities that are tragic or tainted somehow. We have no use for the Nick Lachey's of the world. If you were not in Page Six recently for a stunning moral offense we don't want you."


Play Land wants to make you feel strange. They say that they are "sick of the normal, mundane, and pretentious bores” (although they border on pretentious themselves.) Play Land are fond of making vast generalizations and sweet ironic statements about society such as "Celebrities are so accessible right now. I mean, that it is as if they are almost not really famous.”

“I might run into a celebrity at a McDonald's or rehab, I'm waiting to see one working as a stripper". If you are confused right now that is all right, it is part of Play Land’s master plan. Look for one of their stickers in a neighborhood near you. 

whitehot gallery images, click a thumbnail.
       

Brendan Wilcox


Brendan Wilcox is a journalist in New York City.


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