February 3, 2015 - October 12, 2015
Since 2011, Philadelphia artist Mackenzie
Pikaart has made more than 15,500 pin-back buttons featuring found images cut
from the pages of donated and salvaged magazines. The imagery used by Pikaart
is wide ranging. Many are recognizable – faces, animals, flowers, or objects.
Others are text-based while some are abstract color fields or patterns.
Each button, whether representational or
abstract, is a miniature composition. When thousands of Pikaart’s buttons are
seen en masse though, the imagery is initially visually overwhelming.
Typically, the pin-back buttons are installed by the thousands, side-by-side on
vertical strands suspended floor to ceiling. At a distance, the button formation
appears like a bejeweled curtain. As the viewer looks closer, the individual
buttons and images begin to emerge.
Pikaart has described the project as a means to
“create a visual conversation:” A visual conversation one might glean amongst
the dense field of images or one of personal memories and past experiences. A button might recall a favorite dog, a love
of flowers, a portrait reminiscent of a loved one, or a nostalgic period in
As many of the images are universal and
familiar, everyone can find buttons that they relate to in some way. Hopefully,
viewers will enjoy the exploration and find their own personal connections.