Installation Shots

PRESS RELEASE

In ​Far Out, Allen has drawn inspiration from images of early spaceflight, classic science fiction, and the toys, objects and foods that were inspired by them. ​In ​her new works ​Allen communicates her hopes for the future, and her concern for the present, with nostalgic images inspired by the beginning of humanity’s space age. In one piece, an astronaut in a vintage silver space suit holds his head in apparent exasperation or despair, the interpretation up to the viewer. In other works, space-themed toys sit peacefully, and “futuristic” foods float in abstract fields devoid of gravity.  
 
Other pieces allude to the history of space travel. The laundry line hanging with a vivid orange space suit and feminine underthings, hints at the curious and vital role the underwear company Playtex had in NASA’s early space suit designs. The small series of ray guns began as simple paintings of charming vintage toys, but as Allen worked on them, the debate about guns in this country ignited once more. Allen began to see them in a different light. They ask the question of whether or not we’ll take our tools of violence with us into the future. The subtle rust and wear on the toys suggests they belong to the past, but they still hold appeal, and we may have a long time until we can let them go. 
 
As we stand on the brink of a new chapter of space exploration, Amber Allen looks back at the visions humanity had for its future. While ​Far Out is a cautionary tale of the risks in bringing our old ways with us, it also contains the wonder to be found in exploring the cosmos, as we reach beyond our limited world.