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Monday, August 20 2018 00:10

Disney Unveils Plans for MICKEY: THE TRUE ORIGINAL EXHIBITION...

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The celebration to honor of the 90th anniversary of Mickey Mouse is about to kick into high gear! Disney today announced that Mickey: The True Original Exhibition, an interactive art exhibit, will open in New York this November. To begin the 90-day countdown, new brand and product collaborations spanning fashion, food, consumer electronics, toys, accessories and more are now available worldwide - many of which I previewed behind closed doors back in February at the 115th North American International Toy Fair (see those in another article). Check out a video preview of the exhibit below, along with all the details on what to expect!

“As Walt said, ‘I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing—that it was all started by a mouse’,” said Bob Chapek, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products. “From ‘The True Original Exhibition’ to a year-long celebration in our parks around the world, we are honoring the deep connection that families and fans have made with Mickey and Minnie Mouse for nearly a century.”

‘Mickey: The True Original Exhibition’ is an immersive, pop-up art exhibition inspired by Mickey’s status as a ‘true original’ and his global impact on popular culture and art. From his beginning in black and white in Steamboat Willie to the technicolor world of more than 100 cartoon shorts, exhibition guests will step into an unforgettable journey of Mickey moments reimagined.

Mickey - True Original

“We hope guests will enjoy the exhibition’s larger-than-life multimedia art installations, photo-worthy experiences and even a few surprises,” says Ken Potrock, President, Consumer Products Commercialization, Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products. “We’ve partnered with the best muralists, sculptors, artists and designers to create original works that convey Mickey’s optimism and imagination.”

Curated by designer Darren Romanelli, the exhibit will feature exclusive original artwork from contemporary artists including Kenny Scharf, Amanda Ross-Ho and Shinique Smith, with more artists to be announced in the coming weeks. The experience will captivate the senses to surprise and delight guests, evoking the inspiration, creativity, and true original spirit of Mickey Mouse.

Romanelli is an LA-based based designer and creative director known for creating series of customized, limited-edition clothing, furniture, and collectibles under the DRx moniker. “To me, Mickey is reminiscent of everything good from my childhood,” said Romanelli, “As I’ve come into my own as designer, I feel a true sense of passion for this project. Every inch of the experience - from the artists participating to the different mediums featured to the building layout, was thought through with a level of detail and creativity we could only achieve with Mickey Mouse as our muse.”

About “Mickey: The True Original Exhibition”

Running from November 8, 2018 – February 10, 2019, ‘Mickey: The True Original Exhibition’ will be open Tuesday-Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 60 10th Avenue, New York. Tickets are available for $38 per person at Disney.com/MickeyTrueOriginal.

The 16,000 square-foot interactive experience will feature original work from renowned and emerging contemporary artists. Before the official opening in November, three artists will preview their installations in three pop-up locations across the country. The installations pay tribute to three iconic pieces of Mickey Mouse merchandise that have withstood the test of time – the Mickey Mouse watch, tee-shirt, and plush.

  • Kenny Scharf - Scharf rose to prominence in the early 1980s as a New York street artist and muralist. His interdisciplinary practice consisted of design, sculpture, installations, performance and video as well as painting. From now until September 1, Kenny’s installation will be on display at the Minnesota Street Project, located at 1275 Minnesota St in San Francisco. Inspired by one of Disney’s first licensed products, the Mickey Mouse watch, this Cosmic Cavern is an immersive, day-glo, fluorescent black light world. Kenny Scharf’s work is a surreal journey into his personal connection with the character and the timelessness of both Scharf and Mickey’s contributions to visual culture. Fans at home can experience a 360° tour of the installation at Disney.com/MickeyTrueOriginal.
  • Amanda Ross-Ho – Ross-Ho is a Los Angeles-based artist who has exhibited widely, both nationally and internationally including solo exhibitions at Cherry and Martin and The Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles. She has presented large-scale commissioned public work at The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, City Hall Park New York City and the Parcours Sector of Art Basel Switzerland. She will create a large-than-life classic Mickey tee to be on display during Art Expo in Chicago in September.
  • Shinique Smith - Known for her monumental sculptural works of bundled fabric and clothing, and her exuberant calligraphic collaged paintings, Smith has been featured in exhibitions and collections of prestigious venues such as Brooklyn Museum, Denver Art Museum, LACMA, MFA Boston, The Frist Center, Kemper Museum and The Whitney Museum among others. Shinique’s installation will honor the impact of the Mickey Mouse plush through decades and will be on display in Los Angeles in October.

For details on the exhibition and behind-the-scenes content, visit Disney.com/MickeyTrueOriginal and follow @MickeyTrueOriginal on Instagram with #MickeyTrueOriginal.

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade as Publisher of The Rock Father Magazine, he joined Adventure Publishing Group as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider—a destination for all things pop culture. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 25 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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