When the photographer Aline Smithson found an old, discarded doll from the 1970s, she was touched by his seeming unlovability; his bald head and uncannily wizened features made him unsuitable for most children. Like a lost boy, pitied for his strangeness, the doll found a home behind the artist’s camera. In rich and moody gray tones, Smithson constructs a visual narrative of poignant self-discovery, titled The Lonesome Doll.
The doll’s distinctively his floppy, childlike body works in tension with the firm face of an older man; in choosing to shoot him in black and white, Smithson heightens this drama, creating a dreamy, nostalgic atmosphere. The doll, no longer a boy and not yet a man, exists in a anxious state of perpetual adolescence; where he sits bolt upright in his bed as if woken by a child’s nightmare and dressed in a footed onesie, he also cautiously explores his sexuality, his oversized fingers grazing the shining nude body of another doll. Similarly, he submits to the caresses of a disheveled barbie.
Smithson’s doll is touchingly outcast by his own awkward existence; more mature than his companion toys, he must act out his fantasies with smaller, less ornate dolls, pressing their lips together, his wide-set eyes spit between each figure. He’s too small for the dollhouse, weighty for the clothesline. This strange adolescent is woefully confused, just verging on the point self-awareness. When stuck in a washing machine, he pleads for release, his stunned face reflected in the floor below. Take a look.
Smithson has created from these images a beautiful book that tells a poignant story of hope and love. She is currently looking for a publisher.
As a bit of a followup to the previous post on shadow art, here is a video on Kumi Yamashita. Her work is incredibly innovative. After looking at the images and wondering how she made them, watching this video is quite insightful.
Amy Ross, as she herself states, is quite interested in the idea of artists as “mad scientists”. She posts the question, “What would happen if the DNA sequence of a plant or mushroom were spliced with that of an animal?“. As she tries answering this question herself and to the viewers, her latest works titled, “Brother Wolf” addresses just that.
The name of Artist Scott Dickson‘s series Moment Monument, like the artwork, is a juxtaposition of sorts. Using vintage postcards as collage material, Dickson obscures the monuments that are the intended subject of the photographs. Using the vintage photos and geometric forms, Dickson relieves the monuments of their narrative and posterity. This allows a second look at the monuments physical context – it’s pedestal, its surrounding, the space it in inhabits. More importantly, though, it encourages a second look at monument’s conceptual context – the meaning of commemoration and memory through sculpture.
Though New York based artist, Kiki Smith, works with various kinds of materials, she is most widely known for her sculptures. Kiki works with many topics of which include shame, our relationship to nature, and she is even considered to be a feminist artist. But if you must define what she is “about,” I would say that she is very interested in humanity as natural creatures and our inner conflict with wanting to suppress natural urges. Even when crude, her craftsmanship exhibit so much beauty, that I am always consistently filled with feelings of whimsy.
Joe Rudko is a talented artist based in Washington state. In his current series he combines found photographs with his drawings. According to his artist statement: “These works are responses to a shifting relationship with found photographic objects. Collaging a vintage material with hand drawn addendums exposes the vulnerability of the static image.” Check out more images after the jump.
For women everywhere who grew up with Disney princesses, at one time or another have been disappointed to find out that “happily ever after” is a very rare occurrence, and even then life cannot be consistently easy or good without a few hardships. I feel that a small part of me is avenged through Dina Goldstein’s harshly realistic series “Fallen Princesses.” In this series, Disney’s version of princesses find themselves introduced to the real world, and battling a world their previous audience live in. Everything from a stressful married life, obesity, depression, illness, etc. Just like everyone else they must address their conflict, and confront whatever the outcome may be.