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Celebrating Whimsy

Dr. Seuss’ stories are hopping off their pages to grace the walls of a museum in his birthplace, Springfield, Massachusetts. Set to open in June of 2016, the museum dedicated solely to Theodor Geisel’s — the man behind the pseudonym — work came out of the popularity of the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden, according to The Boston Globe. The Springfield Museums group has taken on this project to celebrate the local celebrity and help increase literacy in the region by including many interactive reading exhibits.

A rendering of the Neighborhood section of the main exhibit space.

While the stories are vivid in many minds, so are the pictures. The thematic pop-art illustration in Dr. Seuss stories is iconic and cherished by generations. This style of whimsical, colorful art has caught wind since stories like The Lorax and One Fish Two Fish, Red Fish Blue Fish nationalized it. Now this style is finally being celebrated on a large scale. The bright dreamy art sometimes gets characterized as childish, but many artists also employ this style in elegant and powerful ways.

Paranoid Pareidolia by Cheryl Frey

Cheryl Frey’s colorful painting depicts the contrast between the beauty and destruction people choose to see. In her description of the painting Frey says, “We all… see our own visions in the clouds. We all see only what we want to see.” This pop art uses fluorescent tones and dark outlines to make ideas real to society in fluid, dreamy thoughts.

Transistor Radio’s by Patrick Edgeley

Adding a retro feel to his pop-art style, Patrick Edgeley uses his graphic design background to instill a clean archetype to his prints. His hand drawn screenprints capture a playful memory of material items. The color and textures create nearly tangible radios in the print above. The print has a similar whimsical, yet relatable feel that Theodore Geisel used so frequently.

Magic Fingers by Hal Mayforth

Magic Fingers uses words and opacity to translate topics like pop culture, literature and music into imagery. Hal Mayforth said, “This series combines my love of words with a layered matrix that evokes mystery, obscurity and ambiguity.” This conceptual piece is high-spirited and lively. The twists and turns of phrase and color reveal a lighthearted feeling from the painting’s layers. The themes and art of Dr. Suess books are a wonderful addition to the museum world. Artists that invoke fantasy with vibrant shades now have a gateway to be appreciated. Just sit back, relax  and browse art by our Zatista artists who utilize these themes and see the fantastical art they have produced!

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