Brian McCarty

Since graduating Parsons School of Design in 1996, photographer Brian McCarty has built a unique career around his love of toys. Founder and Executive Director of the War Toys® nonprofit organization, McCarty has spent over 25 years splitting his time between toy-based commercial, fine art, and nonprofit projects, often blurring the lines in-between. His narrative photographs of toys have been commissioned by Mattel, Hasbro, Cartoon Network, and Nickelodeon and appeared everywhere from Times Square to Target. His photographic collaborations with children affected by war have been used in advocacy campaigns by UNICEF, the ICC, and other NGOs. McCarty’s work has been exhibited by museums and universities including the Musée de la Photographie Charleroi, Young V&A, and the Mucem. His work has earned coverage from The Washington Post, Guardian, The New York Times, Wired, Reuters, and countless other outlets around the world. McCarty has appeared on NPR Morning Edition, CNN, Fox News, Al-Jazeera, ABC News, PBS News Hour, and BBC World Service. McCarty has lectured at the Carter Presidential Library, New School, Sesame Workshop, American University of Beirut, and TEDx. Through all of this, McCarty has come to understand just how much toys shape and reflect our shared humanity and culture.

Archive Exhibitions Featuring Brian McCarty

War Toys: Children’s Stories of Survival and Loss

Brooklyn Bridge Park – Emily Warren Roebling Plaza
 archive : 2023

War Toys uses an art-therapy-based approach to safely collaborate with war-affected children and recreate their personal accounts through narrative photographs of locally sourced toys, placed and posed at the actual locations.

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