Category : New Doll

9 years, 4 months ago 111
Posted in: New Doll

Fortunatar 2010

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This porcelain doll is wearing a one of a kind, sterling silver crown and an East Indian wedding saree over her thick, silky and exceptionally long hair. Her face is a new limited edition design inspired by the ancient Kama Sutra paintings. The crown style is influenced by both Russian and Turkish headdresses and although very tall and intricate, it is very light.

Fortu-n-atar is my fictional deity of the trading caravan routes who protects and helps navigate the caravans to safety in the harsh and dangerous environment of the world’s deserts. Although she is very rarely seen, the sound of singing dunes can signal her divine presence and protection.

Sometimes the eerie sound of singing dunes can be accompanied by a distant, shimmering mirage of a beautiful, young woman with copper-colored skin a bright veil standing in the hot sands, which is considered to be a sign of great luck and fortune. Such rare sightings are revered as an extraordinary blessing; however, one must never try to approach the mirage, as this act can bring ill fortune, financial ruin and even death to the traders and travelers who experience it.

Olga Larina. 2010

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Porcelain doll in a Limited Edition Sterling silver Bonnet and one of a kind, remodeled Sterling Silver shoes. Wig is magnetic. Bonnet is removable and attaches with a pin and a bow.

This doll is based on a literary character from Eugin Onegin novel by Alexander Pushkin. Eugin Onegin is a brilliant novel in verse, set in the 18th century Russia and Olga is the younger sister of the main protagonist of the story Tatiana Larina, and the more traditional symbol of feminine beauty of the two women.

Unlike her unconventional, dark-haired and slightly Emo sister, Olga is a perfect Romantic heroine, and her perfection makes her almost uninteresting in the eyes of the author to develop her character in great depth. It is after all Tatiana’s story, not Olga’s, but both of the sisters suffer from tragic love and loss in different ways. This is how Pushkin describes Olga. I tried to capture his words in my own language of porcelain.

Of Olga…..

Всегда скромна, всегда послушна,
Всегда как утро весела,
Как жизнь поэта простодушна,
Как поцелуй любви мила;
Глаза, как небо, голубые,
Улыбка, локоны льняные,
Движенья, голос, легкий стан,
Все в Ольге… но любой роман
Возьмите и найдете верно
Ее портрет: он очень мил,
Я прежде сам его любил,
Но надоел он мне безмерно.

Of Olga. Loose translation.

Always modest, always obedient,
Always cheerful as the morning,
Simple as a poet’s life,
And sweet as a kiss of love;
Eyes blue like the sky,
Smile, hair as linen,
Movement, voice, and easy grace,
All in Olga … But take any romance
and find her portrait to be
Very lovely indeed,
I used to be infatuated with it,
But it has bored me immensely.

9 years, 5 months ago 52
Posted in: New Doll, show

I will be posting the artist’s statements I wrote for each doll that were hung next to them in the gallery. I was wanting to do it earlier, but didn’t get around to it with all the preparations for the opening.

Anna Karenina Survives The Train. 2010

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This one-of-a-kind engraved, porcelain doll, features a complex, full-body, color tattoo of an orthopedic corset and a prosthetic leg device. Face is one of a kind. Magnetic wig is removable, and permanently styled into intricate braiding adorned with a Victorian copper comb.

This doll is based on the main protagonist from the majestic and tragic novel Anna Karenina written by Leo Tolstoy. I tried to re-imagine Anna’s heartbreaking love story with a different ending where she survives her horrific suicide attempt at jumping under a slow-moving train, but sustains severe, disfiguring injuries, losing her left leg, mangling her left arm and breaking her back instead.

I took the metaphor of straight-laced, yet decadent attitudes of Victorian Russian society that governed and ultimately decided Anna’s fate, and interpreted it in a literal, visual way as her medical bondage braces and prosthetic devices, which now literally hold her shattered body together. She is protected, yet restrained by the inhumanity of social conventions. I wonder if surviving her suicide would make any difference in her destiny despite her transgression of the status quo.

Amongst a myriad of deeply philosophical issues, the biggest question that the novel Anna Karenina leaves one with is perhaps whether love can really conquer all.

A part of me wants to believe that Anna’s near death experience would serve as a powerful epiphany for her and her lover count Alexey Vronsky, and transform their deteriorating relationship back into a loving union it once was, but a realist in me questions this idealistic approach, rationalizing that her difficult situation in life brought on by breaking the social rules and conventions of the day, and can not have a long-term, happy resolution unless all the stigma of her illicit relationship is removed and her public image reinstated.

The incident may cause a profound spiritual awakening for her and Alex, but they will continue to face the same external problems of gender inequity, which have undone their powerful love before.

Sadly, their first near death experience is a testament that perhaps love does not conquer all: When Anna nearly dies during childbirth and Alexey shoots himself in despair of losing her, both survive and are overcome with gratitude and love for each other, but their happiness is fleeting as it provides only a temporary, idealized escape from their difficult situation, followed by an eventual boredom, loneliness, frustration and inevitable return to a grim reality.

Will this, second near death experience with an added problem of Anna’s disability be any more profound and lasting than the first? Perhaps, but I’m skeptical.

And yet, a romantic in me believes in Anna’s life, while John Milton’s quote from Paradise Lost encourages me to believe that perhaps there could have been a happy ending for Anna Karenina after all:

“The mind is its own place, and in itself, Can make a heav’n of hell, a hell of heav’n.”

Perhaps Anna and Alex could have made their own heaven in the hell that they found themselves?

I re-imagined the climax scene where Alexey finds Anna broken, but alive instead of dead and mutilated on the table at the train station where they had carried her body, and the despair and grief of her ugly death turns instead into relief and a renewal of their love for each other. Just like in Disney movies, they embrace, kiss, and ride off into the sunset, leaving their superficial selves, the superficial society that bred them and all its false idols behind to live happily ever after. The End.

The Bloody Lady Elizabeth Bathory. 2010

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One of a kind, porcelain, ball-jointed, costumed doll. A very complex costume is assembled from 23 separate, original Sterling Silver pieces with 24k gold plating and an Indian wedding saree skirt. All clothes and accessories are removable. Face is one of a kind. Removable wig is magnetic.

This doll is based on a real historical figure of Transilvanian countess Elizabeth Bathory (17 August 1560 – 21 August 1614), from the renowned Báthory family.

Allegedly, Elizabeth was a sadistic serial killer who tortured and murdered as many as six hundred girls in a span of 20 years. Despite going down in history as the most prolific female serial killer with a kill rate of mythological proportions, there is very little historical evidence against her. In fact, when considered in a larger historical and political context, it appears that Elizabeth was a victim of an aristocratic conspiracy with a resulting mass hysteria, and that her original accusers were politically, financially and possibly, ideologically motivated.

Regardless of evidence, history appears to be infatuated with the image of this woman as a ruthless murderer, even if this image is nothing but a myth. Her presence in history is as mysterious and secretive as her enigmatic smile, which could hide either a twisted sociopath, or an innocent victim of slander.

Although we will never know the truth behind the Bloody Lady Elizabeth Bathory, we must consider these following historical facts before condemning her:

There is the lack of the most basic proof: the victim’s names. There aren’t any official names on record of Bathory’s alleged victims, or bodies for that matter. It was said that she had killed daughters of peasantry as well as lesser nobility. But who are these missing women exactly?

The logistics of murder don’t make sense either. Elizabeth was accused of killing around 600 girls in 20 years. That means she killed 30 people a year. That’s 1 murder every 12 days. How could such a visible public figure get away with such an astronomical kill rate for 20 years, in a region with a population of much less than three hundred thousand people? Where was she getting all these women and why was virtually nobody noticing this, except for one single minister Istvan Magyari? One would think that if daughters were going missing left and right every month in villages, there would be some sort of a public concern and even a panic. Instead, the “rumors” of murders had began to spread only after the official investigation had already started.

Another interesting detail is the fact that when King Matthias of Hungary ordered the investigation into the rumors of murders, he was heavily indebted to the wealthy and influential Elizabeth Bathory. Based on flimsy, hearsay witness testimony, King Matthis had her imprisoned without any formal trial, conviction or further punishment and avoided having to repay her the large sum of money for which he lacked sufficient funds.

Elizabeth Bathory’s case happened at a time of religious upheaval and hostility in Hungary. As a Transilvanian Protestant aristocrat, she was a political opposition to King Matthis, who was an Austrian Roman Catholic.

My final argument in favor of Elizabeth Bathory’s innocence is that her case shows evidence not only of political conspiracy, but also of the mass hysteria phenomenon, where a runaway public fear clouds all rational judgment, leading to escalating panic and severe miscarriages of justice. Such cases and trials are often characterized by absurd accusations, unfounded witness testimony, extremely biased public opinion, coercive interrogations and incompetent investigative techniques.

I see a distinct parallel between Elizabeth Bathory’s murder investigation and the of mass hysteria of the famous Salem witch trials of 1692, the Kern County Satanic ritual child abuse hysteria of 1983 and the West Memphis Three murders of 1993, where all accusations began with one person and grew out of thin air into frenzied fear and everyone conveniently forgot that a person is innocent until proven guilty beyond any reasonable doubt.

9 years, 5 months ago 14
Posted in: New Doll, show

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Only one day left until the show!  Still a bit more work to do for the setup.

9 years, 5 months ago 29
Posted in: New Doll, show

The dolls that will be shown at the “Fragility” show in Berlin at the Strychnin gallery have been unveiled.

You can see them on the gallery’s website at www.strychnin.com, clicking “for sale” and then “Fragility”, or you can click right here.

If you need to see more, which I anticipate many of you will, additional shots have been uploaded to flickr, with a few more going up later.

Now back to setting up the show, need to get these girls ready for their big live debut.

9 years, 6 months ago 35
Posted in: New Doll

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Inspired by bits and pieces of all kinds of things and experiences and without my full awareness, this project gestated in my thoughts for years, formulating and materializing into a coherent image, until one day the right piece of the puzzle fell just into the right place, crystallizing the idea into a strikingly clear form that quite literally, took my breath away. Startled and exhilarated by the suddenness of its coming, I studied the image burned into the backs of my eyelids with wonder, smiling at the beauty and completeness of it and thinking to my self that ah, yes, of course it had to look like this-it couldn’t possibly have been anything else. It was always this,  even if I couldn’t see it before: it was just a matter of circumstances and time until I did.

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Although i think about art and my future projects nearly every waking minute, it’s not often that my inspiration takes a form of an intense, almost religious experience like this one. This was unique. It felt like, driven to the point of exhaustion from endless brainstorming and research my mind just snapped and transcended the boundaries of consciousness, crossing over into a creative abyss where everything is possible.

For a few seconds absolutely everything is clear, all the knowledge is laid bare, every vision is there and even the meaning of life is obvious, but then the mental curtain to the abyss closes again, pulling you back from the precipice of madness and leaving only a vague memory of the profoundness of the experience, allowing to carry away only one thing with you intact- that perfect vision of what you sought. Like a gift. Everything else is swiftly forgotten.

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Cathedral was my gift. I hope it opens the flood gates for more beautiful pieces in this series.

This piece was primarily inspired by my obsession with European Gothic architecture. But I’m sure there are a couple dozen other sources of inspiration mixed in here. I’ve yet to identify them all.

9 years, 6 months ago 71
Posted in: New Doll

cathedral2

I’ve been working on this doll for a while and I’m absolutely infatuated with it. I think she is the best doll I ever made. But then again, I think that about every doll I just completed. But I do feel that she is very unique and different from everything I’ve ever made before. To me, she seems to signal some sort of a renewal, a new direction,  new inspiration and fresh blood, like a shot of adrenaline to the heart.

She is one of a kind. Her name is Cathedral and she is the first doll from the new, Architectural series, which presently exists only in the concept/research stage and it will be at least a year until I expect to complete the collection. Cathedral will take part in the Berlin show as a special preview for the next series, but she is the only doll that won’t be for sale just yet.

Fragility show at Strychnin will consist mostly of 15 one a kind-tattooed and nudes in new, metal head dresses. There will be an online preview for everyone on the Strychnin website.

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I haven’t figured out how to photograph this doll yet. The cathedral head dress is very tricky to capture effectively an I’m still figuring out the best lighting that will show the piece best. More pictures to come.

You may recognize the cape from a while ago. It has a lot of Sterling Silver and Amethysts attached to it. The Cathedral itself is a one of a kind wax carving, also cast in Sterling. It’s quite heavy. In fact, this is the most silver I’ve ever used in a single doll. She is literally precious. I’ll tell you  more about it in the next post and show the wax carving. I think you might be a bit surprised to find how I made it.

9 years, 7 months ago 39
Posted in: New Doll

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Here are a few photos of The Bride that never made it to the site.  We played around with some different treatments to give them different feels.  These, along with a couple others, will likely find their way to The Bride‘s gallery soon.  In the first shot I was going for a typical “Bridal magazine” shot, including the soft focus and glow that they always use.

9 years, 8 months ago 32
Posted in: New Doll

mask

So guys, I think that I finally finished that mask I had in my drawer for almost a year. It was modeled by a doll in my solo show at Villa Terrace museum last year, but it was acutally an unfinished project and that’s why I hadn’t put it up in the galleries yet. In this shot Sapphire is modeling the mask because I am still making the doll. She will be officially unveiled sometime next month.

The mask ornament is heavily inspired by the Bronze Age death masks in which people of status and wealth were buried. It was also inspired by the art of ancient Aztecs. It’s carved in wax, cast in bronze and gold plated with 24 k gold. The mask is decorated with Rubies, Pink Tourmaline, Opals, dyed shell and glass beads.

More pictures of this doll is coming soon.

9 years, 9 months ago 139

That’s right. It’s official. Enchanted Dolls will soon be also available in fine resin.

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Let me introduce to you the very first Resin ED prototype. Her name is Kay. Her face was painted after my porcelain Cinderella for practice. I wanted to see how close I can get to porcelain Enchanted Dolls in terms of painting style and technique. I think fairly close.

Oh what a journey it has been! The minute I came back from a show in Germany in the fall, I began following on leads for resin manufactures until I found the manufacturer of my dreams who GETS ME. Really, really gets me; My minute perfectionism, my high demands for my dolls, the vision of what I want to create. Together we have big plans for this resin ED line. Sorry I’ve been keeping a tight lid on this secret. I’ve been wanting to announce this amazing news for weeks, but having been burned by manufacturers before, I didn’t want to jinx it. And now finally I have physical evidence and results to show how amazing this line is turning out!

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Resin doll Kay, painted with watercolor pencils, liquitex acrylic paints, synthetic glazes and a UV resistant varnish sealant.

The resin EDs are copies of my porcelain dolls with some improvements. They are the same size of 13.5″( 36cm), but they have 3 different pairs of hands with various levels of finger expressiveness. Also, all the joints have been altered for a tight fit to improve the body lines and recalibrated for a non-leather-lined traction. So far, 5 different head molds are available, but I plan to make more soon. I am also planning to create a raised foot, self -customizing option for a heeled shoe. But that’s in the future.

These are my first impressions of my very first experience with resin.

The resin parts themselves by far exceeded my expectations. They are incredible quality. They are very tough and a little flexible, so that even their tiny fingers can take a tremendous amount of abuse! My porcelain dolls are very strong but a bit brittle, while resin dolls are strong and also durable and don’t require gentle handling at all. The resin has a UV retardant mixed in. They are silky smooth and pick up every nuance of my porcelain dolls’ skin surface. There are some dramatic differences in how resin and porcelain each ‘take’ and retain the surface paint, both aesthetically and technically: China paint on porcelain being hard, permanent and absolutely non-removable through human means, while Acrylic and whatercolor on resin being soft and removable with solvents and abrasive materials.

That’s the main contradiction I’m facing with porcelain and resin dolls: while porcelain requires gentle handling and full awareness of the doll because though very strong, it is brittle and vulnerable to medium velocity impact, its surface is completely impervious to scratches, UV, dirt or paint damage. Resin dolls on the other hand are a lot more durable and can easily survive a medium velocity impact and all kinds of very rough play and probably even small children, but their acrylic-based surface paint is not molecularly bonded to resin the way China paint is to Porcelain, and so one has to be aware of not accidentally removing paint through careless abrasive surface contact. Although touching it and gently wiping/washing it with wet cloth is quite safe because it’s sealed with varnish. I’ve tested it.

So, gentle handling is still advised, but not because of the doll itself, but for the sake of the paint.

Even though I’m not very pleased about this impermanence, I understand that this is the primary characteristic of resin which is common to all resin dolls, ball-jointed or not, and despite this, it still makes up for this minor shortcoming with its other amazing characteristics, such as incredible strength and customizing versatility.

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This is Clymenestra. She is partially painted. Her face, hands and feet are painted, while her body is left blank. She has downcast eyes and an option for real eyelashes. Testing out different looks. I think this one is a Greek goodess.

The articulation of my resin Enchanted Dolls is the same as my porcelain dolls.  All the joints were altered to improve a movement range and after testing all kinds of stinging up methods and playing with elastics, I realized why I developed a steel spring articulation to begin with: it’s because elastics absolutely SUCK compared to carbon springs. They suck. Sucky-sucky-suck-suck.

That’s why I had decided to keep my complex, signature steel articulation style in my resin dolls too. It’s takes a long time to do, but it’s so worth it. The registration of the joints is very good due to the spring tension, even though most joints are not lined with leather and are very smooth inside. I lined only two parts with fine leather: the chest joint and the neck joint. The rest is resin on resin contact and due to isolated-joint stringing system, the registration is still remarkable. I love springs.

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My first painting attempt 3 days ago was a spectacular failure. I naturally assumed I can do anything, :) and when I couldn’t create my beloved misty blushing effect with acrylic paints on resin, I was so upset I almost lost it. I kept trying to do it and resin just kept “grabbing” the paint half a second after I applied it and I couldn’t do any blending to it. Acrylic dries really fast, but not this fast. I was shocked and frustrated at seeing this new characteristic of acrylic on resin, nearly to tears. I kept failing and wiping it off and starting again and failing again and thinking: “This can’t be! How can this be?! I know acrylic like the palm of my hand. How can I be failing at something I know? I went to art school for five years, damn it!!” Well,  Acrylic is impossible to mist without an airbrush, it turns out. It’s something I didn’t know because I’ve always painted a wet on wet acrylic, which blends just fine. While wet on dry is pretty impossible. I plan to buy an air brush for large area blushing, but meanwhile I used whatercolor to create the misty blush on her face and body. The look it creates on the skin is similar to that of china paint, but that’s as far as similarities go.

Chad said this was because I got a bit too arrogant since I haven’t failed for a while. I should say without false modesty that most of my attempts end up in success. This was a huge reality check to my ego.

In most ways painting a resin doll is way easier than painting a porcelain doll because it doesn’t require specialty tools, specialty paint, an extremely steady hand or a highfire kiln to bond the color to porcelain and that means anyone can do it with readily available art supplies. Like anything else, it does require practice and I, unaccustomed to the new technique characteristics, was struggling for control of my tones, lines and blushing. I was a novice. About 36 hours into my attempts I began to figure it out though. I couldn’t sleep until I did.

I still think that China paint allows for a far more control, especially on a miniature scale like my dolls’ faces and hands, not to mention the whole permanence thing. In fact, getting to know the beauty of resin gave me a whole new appreciation for how amazing porcelain really is. I think I just missed it after not working with it for a few days! It remains my first, high maintenance love, while resin is my new mistress. :)

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Resin dolls can balance a lot better without a stand than my porcelain dolls. I don’t have stands made for these yet, but I’m working on it. Wigs, custom boxes and stands is my next project for my resin line. I am so excited about the new boxes! I think you guys will be too when you see the sample. It’s something very special.

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These are my first four resin prototypes. I haven’t had time to paint the other two yet, but perhaps next week I might. I’m still working on developing this line and can’t say exactly when I will begin taking orders for these. Hopefully this spring I will be able to take the first batch of 20 orders or so. I will honor my wait list and give the people who’ve waited the longest the opportunity to order first. I’m still working out the prices, but because they are quite expensive to manufacture, high quality dolls they will retail for around $1500 CND -$2,000 CND. I’m still working it out.

I’m also considering offering the option of a limited number of blank dolls to artsy people who like customizing their own dolls. I frequently get requests for blank dolls and with porcelain it is absolutely out of question, but with resin it’s possible but I am undecided. On one hand I am really eager to see how others would interpret painting of my dolls, on the other hand, I am a bit protective of them. Perhaps you guys  could offer some insight on that. Is this something you would like?

Well, I hope this was worth the wait. Whoever is interested in purchasing one of these dolls, please email me as I’m making a resin nude doll wait list.

Eventually I plan to create limited resin costumed lines too, as well as accessories, but that’s in the future. One step at a time.

It looks like my announcement coincides with the premiere of the last season of Lost. Got to go watch it. Hopefully it won’t be a huge disappointment like the last two seasons.

New Season of Lost and Resin Enchaned Dolls!? Wooo!

9 years, 10 months ago 29
Posted in: New Doll

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The auction for Lily has begun!

Link to the ebay page

The auction will run for 7 days.

Sorry for being a bit late, I wanted to make sure I didn’t have any spelling mistakes this time (not like we had wit h”Lotita”).  Also, I took some new shots today, which had me working right up until my own deadline, but I’m quite pleased with how they turned out.  I hope Lily goes to a special home and nice owner who will treasure her forever.  I will miss Lily very much after our last week together.

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