Beloved storybook characters have been given symbolic makeovers in an exhibit of pop art by Donald Topp. The exhibit at Yahara Bay Distillers, 6250 Nesbitt Road, Fitchburg, also features portrayals of cultural icons such as Batman, He-Man, and Willy Wonka.

“My art work takes a critical view of our popular culture,” Topp said in a press release. “In my work, I deconstruct toys, cartoons and iconic figures from childhood and adult pop culture.

I look to expose the underlying messages that entertainment pushes on the population such as the expected roles of boys, girls, women and men in our media-driven culture.”

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A silkscreen artist, Topp draws the images and then transfers them to film for screen printing. Mixed media is overlapped in layers with the screen print on paper and board to create a unique picture. Some pieces also incorporate acrylics and spray paint.

Topp, a self-proclaimed “weekend art fair warrior,” earned his masters degree in visual studies from Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee. The Marshall native had previously taught elementary school art for 13 years. His work is in galleries in San Diego, Denver, Chicago and Manchester, United Kingdom.

— Robyn Norton


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