Sinister Pop Family Day
Apr 10, 2013

A performance during a family day at the Whitney

Dave McKenzie performing While Supplies Last (2003), Sinister Pop Family Day, March 2013. Photograph by Sean Carroll

On Saturday, March 9, kids and their parents took center stage at the Whitney’s Family Day in conjunction with the Sinister Pop exhibition. In the spirit of Pop art, families explored what it means to be a celebrity and how icons are created, with guest appearances by artists Dave McKenzie and The Bumbys. Other Pop art and celebrity-inspired activities included print-making, karaoke, performance, and activities in the galleries, and posing on a red carpet for paparazzi-style Polaroid pictures.

Bobblehead dolls on display

Dave McKenzie’s “Dave” bobble heads in front of The Bumbys, Sinister Pop Family Day, March 2013. Photograph by Sean Carroll

In the lobby, Dave McKenzie performed While Supplies Last (2003), wearing a giant papier-mâché mask of himself, while handing out a miniature bobble-head based on his own appearance. The over-sized mask and the bobble-heads—which usually portray well-known people or characters—challenged spectators to question the whole notion of identity as well as the supposed celebrity of “Dave.”

A child participates in an art project

The Bumbys, Sinister Pop Family Day, March 2013. Photograph by Sean Carroll

The Bumbys are a pair of performance artists who offer Fair and Honest Appraisals of Your Appearance. Disguised in hats, wigs, masks, and sunglasses and using manual typewriters, the Bumbys studied kids and parents closely as they stood in front of them and then composed detailed responses based on how they looked. Taking a cue from sports and television ratings, The Bumbys concluded each appraisal with a numbered score, raising questions about judging people by their appearance.

Two participants dress up during a family event

Billie Rae Vinson (left) and Jamie Rosenfeld, (right) after Sinister Pop Family Day, March 2013. Photograph by Sean Carroll

Congratulations to Billie Rae Vinson, Coordinator of Family Programs, and Jamie Rosenfeld, Education Assistant, who organized the activities and had to reschedule the event because of the snowstorm on February 8. This was their first family day!

Check out more pictures of Sinister Pop Family Day. Photographs by Sean Carroll.

  • An artist performing in costume

    Dave McKenzie performing While Supplies Last (2003).

  • Kids taking part in an art project

    More of The Bumbys.

  • A ticket to the event

    An appraisal (side 1) by The Bumbys.

  • A letter describing the event

    An appraisal (side 2) by The Bumbys.

  • Children singing to the audience

    Kids sang their favorite songs to a crowd of supporters at the karaoke station.

  • Families in costume

    Kids and parents dressed up in accessories.

  • A family posing in their costumes

    And had their pictures taken, paparazzi-style.

  • Kids showing off their art projects

    Kids and parents used images of contemporary celebrities for a printmaking activity in the Whitney Studio.

  • Children working on a photo project about celebrities

    A celebrity portrait activity in the Sinister Pop exhibition.

Brittni Zotos, Interpretation Intern