Brian McCarty was born 1974 in Memphis, Tennessee. He studied at the Parsons School of Design in New York City and the creative research centre Fabrica in Treviso, Italy. He received his BFA in Photography from Parsons School of Design in 1996.
McCarty is known for his unique and innovative still-life photography. His work fuses reality and hyperreality through the personification and pantomime of toy characters, integrated into actual settings through the use of forced perspective. McCarty documents manufactured moments with a distinct narrative voice and presence, ironically using toy simulacra to explore both reification and actuality.
McCarty’s postmodern integration of concept and character has earned his photography a prominent position in the growing Urban Vinyl / Art-Toy movement, popularized by fellow artists such as Takashi Murakami and Brian “KAWS” Donnelly. McCarty is featured in several books chronicling the artistic movement such as Vinyl Will Kill, Dot Dot Dash, and Toys: New Designs from the Art-Toy Revolution.
Prior to the emergence of Urban Vinyl as a movement, McCarty was using toys in his photography to gain distance from reality while referring to it and attempting to explain it. While at Parsons in 1993, he began work on The Dollhouse. For the series McCarty constructed a toy hyperreality and used the simulacra of family to explore modern living. The Dollhouse received notable praise; earning an honorable mention in the Vera List sponsored Humans All juried competition and inclusion in the traveling group exhibition Making It Real, curated by Vik Muniz.