Hello, Dolly: 4 Strange Art Forms Involving Dolls
Debbie Behan Garrett
Art Attack fears dolls. Naturally, when it came time to reproduce we had a girl because Slayer was right and God hates us all. So now we're surrounded by dolls, their glass eyes full to the brim with the restless souls of murderers, rapists and guys named Marty. We hear them at night as they crawl around waiting for the right moment to kill us and drink our screams like box wine.
We've decided to try some homemade immersion therapy from the safety of the Internet. Maybe if we see some dolls that can't possibly jump out at us and murder-death-kill, we'll get over this phobia. Okay, friends and enemies, here we go...
Have Your Pageant Child Made Into a Doll
Ahhhhhhhhhh! Kill it! Kill it now. We jumped right into the trenches with this one. Last month was the controversial Universal Royal Beauty Pageant in Northcote, Australia. One of the featured services being offered by the pageants was that for a $45 fee, you could have your little princess's likeness photoshopped until they resemble porcelain dolls.
That... child there is Eden Wood, whom you may have seen on Toddlers & Tiaras or under your bed. And just because having a picture of her as a semi-Precious Moment figurine isn't enough, her Web site actually sells a limited edition Vegas showgirl doll of her.
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatry has stated that this kind of photoshopping risked future mental health problems due to severe self-image distortion. The University With One F also released a statement saying the whole thing makes us tinkle in our jeans and want our mom.
This piece of art is called Dreamless Sleep, to which we would like to add, "Not very likely." Ugly Shyla spent years in Houston as a model and artist before moving over to Louisiana. She specializes in these horrifying nightmare sculptures that we can tell you from unfortunate first-hand experience have all the softness and movement of a traditional doll.
Ironically, though, the fact that Shyla's work is supposed to be deliberately upsetting makes the phobia a little easier. She's not trying to open shop in the uncanny valley here, she's taking a legitimately skewed look at the medium and exploring what she can do on the edge of destruction and beauty. They look more like horror movie props, so they're less scary. Does that make sense?
We actually have one of Shyla's dolls packed away in a box somewhere. The wife bought it because it looked kind of like Carrie's fanatical mother.
Enchanted Dollies by Marina Bychkova
That... that's actually really beautiful. Frankly speaking, that is a work of art that belongs in a museum. Maybe we're starting to get past this fear of dolls. If Shyla taught us that the ugliness of our own projections was just our imaginations, Marina Bychkova of Enchanted Doll uses her work to show just how beautiful the medium of doll art can be.
This work is called Lavanya. Her costume is made of Indian silk and her headpiece is cast silver. Her tattoos are created by engraving with a red hot needle, then rubbing china paint into the grooves. Tattooed dolls make up a whole subset of Bychkova's work, and each one is amazingly crafted with exquisite beauty. We probably spent 20 minutes on her Web site completely spellbound by her figures. It's like if Rodin worked for Mattel.
Also, that doll up there is kind of cute. No, that doll up there is actually really hot. Hey, we wonder if we went on the Internet if there would be...
Ah, arousal. The final stage of acceptance. Apparently this is a dark, erotic piece of the Internet we'd been avoiding. However, if you type in "doll porn" Google will not let you down.
These photos come to us courtesy of someone named enelonepiece. The dolls are from the Monster High line, where Bratz-esque versions of the classic Universal monsters all go to the same school. Our subjects are Draculaura (daughter of Count Dracula) and Frankie Stein (daughter of Frankenstein's monster and his bride).
And with some clever positioning, a touch of goth and an appeal to the most male part of us, our doll phobia seems to be cured. Now to tackle our all-consuming fear of jars of olives.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Houston, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.