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Great State: OKC Art Gallery Showcases ‘The Art of Toys’

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OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA -- They started out as My Little Ponies. Then an artist named Mari Kasurinen turned them into Miley Cyrus and Kim Kardashian ponies.

These transformers look like you could find them mass-produced in a regular toy store but they're unique too.

"Oh yeah. We've got some great stuff in here," says Kjelshus Collins, curator for an art show at Istvan Gallery called 'The Art of Toys'.

Collins is an artist himself who always liked to alter the action figures he played with as a kid.

"I broke them apart and then put them back together," he recalls.

As an adult he asked fellow artists all over the world to submit work gift wrapped in a toy theme.

Collins says, "The idea is more of the art based around the toy."

Another artist, Trent Lawson, took some cheap boxing puppets and produced a take-off on the movie 'Fight Club'.

"I just re-built the heads and replaced the clothes to match the ones they had in the movie," he says.

Jason Martin brought in several stuffed animals. They're mouths altered with molded dentures.

One of the most noticeable 'toys' in the show features a wind-up drum toy with a Barbie doll's head as the drumstick.

Another nice little item is a marble game.

Players win by placing the 'blue balls' into the eye holes instead of the holes between the legs.

"Ah. Winner!," says Collins after a short round.

Keep in mind these are grown up visions of childhood playthings, more art show, less 'romper-room'.

"So not, necessarily something to play with," remarks a gallery visitor.

"Not exactly," says Kjelshus. "But if you had a toy collection all of these pieces would fit perfectly on your shelf."

But there is plenty left to the imagination.

Kjelshus showed off one artist's 'New and Improved Demon Catcher', several re-cycled pull toys, a set of crocheted space boys, and even some mash-ups still in their packaging.

The Art of Toys takes the first flights of imagination, then plays with them again.

The show began at the Istvan Gallery at 12th and N. Western on October 14. I runs through December 21st.

For more information on the show or the gallery go to http://www.facebook.com/Istvan.Gallery