10 Great Artworks Inspired by Children’s Toys


Yesterday was Jeff Koons’ birthday, so the contemporary artist has been on our minds a little bit this weekend. Though critics are split on his work, we usually count ourselves fans, being generally fond of anything huge, fun and shiny, like Koons’ famous balloon dogs. We also enjoy the fact that Koons makes serious art that references children’s toys, and we got to thinking about some of the other artists around the world that do the same — whether they just incorporate the playthings into their work or create objects that could be used as enormous toys themselves. Click through to check out ten of our favorite artworks that were either inspired by, made out of, or crafted to resemble children’s toys, and do let us know if we’ve left off any of your favorite artistic playthings in the comments!

Jeff Koons, “Balloon Dog,” (1994-2000)

Peng Hung Chih, “Little Danny,” 2001. Made of 660 wind-up Little Danny dogs that start yapping and moving when you enter the room. [via]

Hans Hemmert, “German Panther,” 2007. [via]

42-foot tall toy rabbit by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, 2011. [via]

Maurizio Cattelan, “Daddy Daddy,” 2008

Robert Bradford, “Fairy Too.” Constructed, like many of his sculptures, from his children’s discarded toys.

Urs Fischer, “Untitled (Lamp/Bear)”, 2011.

Joe Black, “Made in China,” 2011. Portrait crafted from more than 5,500 toy soldiers.

Guerilla artist Ego Leonard‘s giant Ego Leonard Legos, 2007-2011

Viennese art group Gelatin’s giant pink bunny, 2005 [via]