Event Review // Randy Gilman Artist Talk at New Britain Museum of American Art, August 2, 2023, New Britain CT

As soon as the New Britain Museum of American Art announced an exhibit from Walter Wick, I knew Quentin and I both had to find the time to go to view it.    We did get there fairly quickly (and stayed for quite some time) and it is quite impressive to see and just to take it all in, in person, if you have not had the chance yet to do so.

A few weeks or so after seeing the exhibit, the NBMAA announced an artist talk with Randy Gilman to discuss the models in this exhibit and how they were made.   This was certainly of interest to me, as I have a naturally curious mind, but as Quentin is learning and exploring at age eleven he also has that desire to know things so I felt like this was something he would be interested in as well.

Everything that goes into the world of Walter Wick and the I Spy books is just so fascinating.   The finished product might be a piece of paper inside of a book, but the process- the attention to detail- which goes into making it all happen is quite elaborate.   The photos are actually photos with intricate scenes created using all sorts of materials and though occasionally a piece is placed in later using the computer, this is all so organically created.  

You have to understand that living in the 21st Century, so much feels like CGI and just made by computers so to create something like you'd see a page in an I Spy book feels like you'd just copy and paste certain stock photo images until you get the desired effect.  But, in reality, these scenes were actually set up and are very much real behind the camera.  The fact that this wasn't just all done on computers (as seems to be the way now) is what fascinates me most.

But it goes even deeper than that.  One particular page featured pirates and as such they needed gold.   Randy Gilman discussed in this talk how he called his brother who had worked on the film "The Goonies" and some of the scrap money from that film appeared in the final photo.   The money was there for us to touch and now whenever I see that particular scene I am going to think about how Goonies never say die.

The way Randy Gilman spoke it just felt as if he enjoyed what he did and he always had fun working with Walter Wick.   To bring people together and create these types of art, which is something I don't feel like a lot of people are doing any more, is more than just what you see on the surface.   There are layers to it and when you think about and realize all that goes into it, the simplicity of the page turns quite complex and overall can just leave you with a feeling of magic.  

Official Event site :::


The New Britain Museum of American Art can be found on the web here :::


Randy Gilman can be found on the web here :::


Walter Wick can be found on the web here :::