Whenever Dave Quan comes back to town, we know he's up to something creative. The artist (who also goes by Luster Kaboom) moved to New York last year, but he comes back to his hometown every once in a while to paint a new mural or collaborate with old friends.
But he says this return trip is special, and by the time he jumps back on a plane to New York, he'll have finished a massive floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall installation inside Scottsdale's Civic Center Library.
In partnership with Scottsdale Public Art, Quan has created a massive interactive exhibition for all ages with a few of the artist's signature characters and some big surprises.
The FunHouse includes circus-inspired murals and underwater scenes, as well as interactive dioramas, fortune tellers, funhouse mirrors, and a two-story interactive display.
Quan says he was approached by Scottsdale Public Art a year ago with the idea of a kid-friendly installation that would create an environment for library-goers to play and interact. He immediately bit.
The artist is well known for his goofy characters and detailed airbrush work that jumps off of every wall he's painted (see The Chocolate Factory, Trunk Space, even The New Times Building). He's done a series of illustrations for New Times, as well as a series of comics, called Magical Moment based on his interactions with friends.
But for inspiration for his environment, Quan says he turned to his kids.
"Kids are easy," he says while painting a mural of "The Man Who Has Too Many Elbows." "And while I'd been looking through things like The Book of Freaks for circus ideas, I didn't want to make the area too scary . . . I can't wait for mine to see it."
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Quan has two kids, Lily, 9, and Lando, 6, who are illustrated on the exhibition flier (above) and banner posted at the entrance of Scottsdale Civic Center Library. He says they inspire a lot of the work he does -- he just wants to make them laugh.
He's been working on the FunHouse for almost three weeks -- with the help of Neil Borowicz, New York-based machine maker Lou Nasti, and Phoenix artist Daniel Funkhouser -- and says he gets plenty of young visitors who peek through the tunnel to watch him paint. If you want to catch him in progress, he'll be finishing up the project on Friday before the public opening on Monday, April 22 at 5 p.m..
The FunHouse installation will be on view through July 30 with a lineup of cool events (details coming soon). Regular library hours are Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.