Too Old For Toys, Too Young For Boys

Spiritual America (1983) [Detail] by Richard Prince

On view starting this week, OHWOW Gallery in Los Angeles presents what could possibly be their most delicate and controversial exhibition, entitled Too Old For Toys, Too Young For Boys, a group exhibition which explores the way tweens have influenced adults’ viewing habits in the current digital and cultural landscape. Two essays inform this exhibition. In Charlie White's Minor Threat from 2008, the writer examines the depiction of children in popular media and art. He identifies Richard Prince's Spiritual America (1983) [pictured above], a soft-core photo of a 10-year-old Brooke Shields appropriated from Gary Gross, as crucially identifying a complex network of prohibition and power. Following Prince, the threat White describes is not that children might be represented or even objectified, but rather that the power of the viewer is mutable, and forever diminishing. The exhibition press release seems to note that the word tween, which was added to the American Heritage Dictionary in 2004 and describes children aged 10-12, was invented by marketers to to commercially exploit a specific age demographic. Curated by Alex Gartenfield, this exhibition features artists Ronnie Bass, Debo Eilers, Jay Heikes, Josh Kline, Barney Kulok, Donald Moffett, and Aura Rosenberg to explore this subject matter. Too Old For Toys, Too Young For Boys will be opening June 30, 2012 and closing September 1 at OHWOW Gallery, 937 N. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, CA