Tuesday, 18 April 2006

Minimalist Art, kiddies?

Minimalist Art
There's a lot of bull talked about minimalist art. The twits who witter on about it never think of its practical uses: signs, symbols, icons, computer games. Who can forget Pacman, even though you might want to?
Thirty-five years ago, Roger Hargreaves came up with the idea of expressing human personality types and emotions in simple pictures for young children, and Mr Tickle was born.
Hargreaves' idea may not seem groundbreaking, but consider two lines of research. 1. Psychologists have found that some emotionally or mentally disturbed adults have difficulty identifying their emotional states, presumably because they weren't helped to identify emotions in childhood. 2. A more recent finding is that the younger an infant is introduced to books the better he or she does at school. And of course babies and very young children can't perceive complex images, let alone read; they need minimalist art.
So, bull aside, there are social advantages, possible mental health benefits and certainly pots of money in them there minimalist doodles. Two years ago, the entertainment group Chorion snapped up the Mr Men and Little Miss book titles in a £28m deal! An exhibition to mark the anniversary of Mr Tickle is on at the Animation Art Gallery in London. UK. The Art Of Mr Men continues until 30 April. Click the title link for more info. or telephone 020 7255 1456.


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