Imagine walking down Main Street in a small town at dusk. Unexpectedly, in a barren space between two buildings, you discover Randy Regier’s NuPenny’s Last Stand, a locked, one-room toy stand that seems to have beamed in from the Atomic Age. Through the windows, shelves stocked with seemingly vintage toys sparkle seductively.
In fact, NuPenny’s wares are fictional. The artist constructs each toy from pieces of mid-century detritus. In the context of NuPenny, the objects assume a new life, creating a sense of wonder and nostalgia. On closer inspection, however, there’s something not quite right with these toys. Read the fine print: they are not what they seem. The toys reflect the artist’s fascination with America’s material history and culture. The stand itself, a shiny icon of mid-century American confidence set amid the real-life future it didn’t predict, compels you to wonder: Who put this here? Where did it come from?