Toy photography is an interesting niche; it provides a photographer with the opportunity to be creative and, using a little imagination, to infuse inanimate objects with life. So it was important that I find just the right judge for this quirky theme.
Brian McCarty, a native of Memphis who now plies his trade in West Hollywood, has been a toy photographer for more than 15 years. His integration of concept and character has earned his photography a prominent position in the growing Urban Vinyl / Art-Toy movement, popularized by fellow artists such as Takashi Murakami and Brian "KAWS" Donnelly.
Brian is featured in several books chronicling the artistic movement, including Vinyl Will Kill, Dot Dot Dash, and Toys: New Designs from the Art-Toy Revolution.
He earned a BFA from Parsons School of Design in New York City, and then studied at the creative research centre Fabrica in Treviso, Italy. After returning to the US and working in-house for companies such as Mattel, Brian founded his own studio and made it a focal point for artistic and commercial collaboration with others from the Art-Toy world.
His body of work has earned praise from such places as L’Uomo Vogue, ABC World News, and XLR8R Magazine. His commercial photography roster has grown to include pop-culture clients such as Rockstar Games, MTV, and Cartoon Network.
In addition to new fine art and commercial projects, Brian regularly contributes work to renowned art and pop-culture magazine Hi Fructose as a Photographer-at-Large. He is also working on a collection of his Art-Toy photography to be published by Baby Tattoo Books.
He has two websites where you can check out his toy photography: Brian McCarty and McCarty PhotoWorks.
He has already looked over your entries in the December "Toys" contest and wrote to me that he is looking forward to judging the competition because "there are some really fun and well-executed entries."
We now have posted all of the eligible entries from the Flickr tags search in these two galleries:
Gallery 1 | Gallery 2
If your photo is not there, you have just until noon Wednesday (the 6th) to notify me before Brian starts his judging.
Since we have just 106 entries, we'll first narrow the field to a Top 25, then announce the final Top 10 winners.
Post any questions below or write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Good luck to everybody!