Best Highbrow/Lowbrow Art Mix Denver 2012 - Toy Stories
William Havu, the director of his namesake gallery, came up with a frothy confection last summer that celebrated serious artists taking a lighthearted approach to subject matter. Many of these artists were riffing off toys or the idea of play, as indicated by the show's title, Toy Stories. The exhibit featured many amazing things, including works by Michael Brennan, Michael Stevens, Frances Lerner, Laurel Swab and Esteban Blanco, but as good as they all were, nothing could compare with the sculptures by Phillip Maberry and Scott Walker. Working as a team, the two created pieces that at first glance looked like cheap inflatable beach toys but were actually meticulously made polychromed ceramics. They were unforgettable — and so was this highbrow/lowbrow show.