Behind Closed Doors
Fine Arts, Photography
2012
Artists Statement-Behind Closed Doors

Behind Closed Doors sprouted from dual motivations. One root stems from the child that still thrives within me, and the other from the adult in me looking back. Behind Closed Doors answers two separate questions posed by each of these realities:
Past Self:
As any little kid who has seen or read “A Little Princess” or any of the “Toy Story” trilogy has wondered I too needed to know “What do toys do behind closed doors?” Of course, it is impossible to catch them in the act. I like to semi-secretly believe that toys do have innate personalities, needs and wants. Surely they too have secret fantasies and desire, hopes and dreams that cannot be expressed in front of us. I find it hard to believe they fight crime and have tea parties when we’re not looking, since that is what we already make them do. Like anything, I believe toys would have the urge to rebel against societal “norms” and preconceptions and would most certainly act out of their assigned character given the chance. And so when the lights go off and the door is safely closed toys are free to live out their lives as they see fit without our influence. In this body of work I have created the world I think toys live in when no one is looking.
Future Self:
As I babysat my way through college I could not help but watch young children play with toys, which lead me to reflect on my own relationship with the inanimate objects we hold so dear. Toys play an interesting role in all of our lives. As children we use toys to explore our own feelings and emotions. The toy becomes a representation of self. As adults we are, hopefully, more in-tune with who we are and are less in need of the metaphor the toy provides. I never played with toys much as a kid-I preferred make-believe. However, while babysitting in both high school and college I was called on again and again to enact scene after scene with the toy of the week. I began to wonder if, as adults, we opened ourselves up to explore our inner workings as we did as children what would happen?

In Behind Closed Doors I have bridged the gap between these two realities, both exploring what toys might do when we turn our backs as well as how an adult would (age-appropriately) engage in imaginative play. To me these two worlds have become one and the same: toys, like children, yearn to be grown up. And though as grown ups we may yearn to return to the carelessness of childhood I believe this work proves the old adage holds true: “You can never go back”. As can clearly be seen in Behind Closed Doors an adult playing with a child’s toys quickly becomes creepy.