Nestled deep in the valleys of Shikoku Island in Japan is a small and almost forgotten village called Nagoro. Once a bustling center with a dam, a big company and hundreds of inhabitants, the village slowly became deserted as its residents moved to bigger cities in search of better jobs, while those who were left behind continue to die. Such was the forlorn situation that greeted Japanese artist Ayano Tsukimi when she returned to her beloved village eleven years ago.
I can’t comprehend how I’m not yet dead from all the fluffiness these dolls have shown me. Moscow-based artist Santani obviously has the ability to create beings that embody every single thing in the world that represents cute and cuddly. The result of this ability? These realistic Pokemon/Mogwai-like dolls.
Secrets of the Living Dolls recently started airing on Channel 4. The documentary series offers viewers a look at the phenomenon of otherwise-ordinary men whose hobby is to don a full body rubber suit and mask to transform into their fantasy female alter-ego. Real life can be quite strange.
Xochimilco might be the creepiest place on Earth. This man-made island is in a southern borough of Mexico City and named La Isla de las Muñecas (The Island of the Dolls). Except these dolls are decaying. They’re hanging from clotheslines. Their skin is scabbed and their eyes stare at you. Or so they say. Legend has it that in 1950, a little girl drowned in the canal here and her spirit began haunting the place.
Labels like Chanel, Dior and Gucci are behind the designs of these one-of-a-kind dolls, and it’s a project all done in the name of charity. Every year artists and haute couture designers present their interpretations on a theme for the Frimousses de Createurs initiative, a fundraiser that’s held to benefit Unicef. This year the theme […]
It’s not unusual to see cartoon plush toys disguised as other characters, usually in some weird cosplay-like outfit. Hello Kitty, we’ve found, seems especially susceptible. Is it cute, borderline psychotic (‘OMG! They killed xxx’), or just confusing? You decide.
Wanting to see more female technology innovators in the world, engineers Alice Brooks and Bettina Chen designed Roominate, a dollhouse that young girls aged six and up can build from scratch and wire up with a complete circuit (battery pack, motor and switch) and connectors attached. Actually, young boys will probably have as much fun […]
Vahge (v-AH-zhe) is a Brooklyn-based collage artist who I’ve been lucky to meet recently. She makes figures stitched together from various magazine models that vaguely seem like Frankensteinian dolls living in old Victorian houses. They appear proper and full of etiquette while at the same time having a darker edge, often being made up of […]
These freakishly beautiful and realistic David Bowie Dolls are the work of New York-based author and skier E.V. Svetova. Featured on the DeviantArt site (under the name Katyok), Svetova doesn’t make the 70cm high polyurethane resin dolls themselves but customises them with paint and Yamamoto-like style. Sadly, they’re not for sale, instead they are ‘created […]
Established in 1913 by Harold Chapman Jr., the Original Doll Hospital is located in Bexley, Sydney and is now run by the third generation of the Chapman family. Well-stocked with replacement parts, the hospital staff perform miraculous repairs on toys beyond dolls, such as teddy bears and rocking horses. The hospital recently celebrated its 100th […]
Polish photographer Ilona Szwarc used to work in film with directors the likes of Jonathan Glazer and Roman Polanski. When she moved to the US (New York City is where she now lives and work in), the American Girl, both the girl and the doll, caught her eye: ‘Photographically it was a beautiful image – girls with their sculptural representations, their twins, their avatars’. She’s right.
This is one of my favourite photographs. I love to play with scale and these wrestling dolls are my favourite photographic subject. Making these inanimate dolls look as though they are feeling something is my ultimate goal and it doesn’t hurt if it’s also a beautiful image.
First butcher shops, now this. No, really, why were we not born in another era? They have the coolest toys. In 1959, America had the disaffected Marybel (also expressly termed The Doll That Gets Well), a doll that came with her very own medical supplies: crutches, bandages, casts, gauzes and adhesive tape. Plus sunnies to rock the doll-in-recovery look. We imagine the little trooper would have been quite a hit with sick kids waiting to get well.
There is a grace and mystery in Marina Bychkova’s Enchanted Dolls that is truly magical. Each is one-of-a-kind and handmade by Bychkova. These porcelain beauties are the ideal of eternal femininity. They give a sense of emotional and physical fragility, while maintaining a vision of strength and power. Her second edition book, Enchanted Dolls, is set to release this fall in limited edition.