Category : New Doll

9 years, 10 months ago 24
Posted in: New Doll

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9 years, 10 months ago 37
Posted in: New Doll, show

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The Silk Road. 2010
$15,000 USD
A one of a kind, ball jointed, Porcelain doll with intricate engravings of the henna motif on her limbs. Her one of a kind Sterling Silver headdress weighing 36.5 grams is assembled from multiple, prefabricated components and set with 17 Fresh Water Pearls.  The detachable Natural Mohair wig is magnetic and a decorative Glass dome display is included with the doll.

The Silk Road will become available for sale on August 7th, at the Artful Henna exhibition in the Art Not Terminal Gallery, Seattle, USA. You can contact the director of Artful Henna exhibition Kree Arvanitas for purchasing inquiries at artfulhenna.com

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I’ll be posting some more close ups and portraits of Silk in two other wigs (not included) on August 7th, on the opening night.

I’ll be away until then and will not be available to answer any questions in regards to this doll or the show until I return to the studio. For once, I’m unable to bring my laptop with me. You can certainly write me while I’m away and I will address any inquiries as soon as I’m back. Enjoy the pictures. Ta Ta.

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9 years, 10 months ago 26
Posted in: New Doll

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Today I’m finishing a new, one of a kind tattooed doll for the Artful Henna group exhibition at the “Art Not Terminal” gallery in Seattle, USA. The Opening night gala is on Saturday, August 7th. The show is centered around the theme of henna motif and I’m very excited to be a part of it, amongst the many talented and renowned artists who work in this highly decorative genre.

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend the opening night due to a scheduling conflict and will have to go to Seattle at a later time to see the exhibition.

This is an up close shot of a work in progress henna tattoo on the left hand. This is the most intricate tattooing I’ve done up to date and I’m very pleased with how much detail I was able to fit into the tiny hands and feet of the doll. It wasn’t easy and my own fingers ached from the tremendous strain of engraving on such a small scale. I’m very anxious to see it completed, as it’s been a year since I’ve done my last henna tattooed doll. I simply love the aesthetic and the diversity of henna and wish I could make many more dolls with it, but the complexity of engraving it takes a lot out of me. That’s why I have to space out my henna projects quite a bit.

I’ll be posting another shot of henna close up tomorrow and pictures of a completed doll, along with the purchasing information on Sunday.

9 years, 11 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, 12 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, 12 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, 12 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.

10 years 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.

10 years ago 71
Posted in: New Doll

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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.

10 years, 1 month 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.