Artists have historically used dolls as subjects.
They have human qualities without being human which gives
them a surreal edge, and they were, in fact, popular with the
Surrealists. In addition to their surreal qualities, their reference
to childhood automatically has a charged emotional impact.
The dolls I’ve used in these paintings have an additional “charge” in
that they are usually troubled in some way. Frequently they
are broken, or their outfits are torn or dirty. They may be in a
disturbing or unusual setting. Or they could be coupled or
grouped to produce an interesting interaction. I look for subjects
that have a compelling visual interest; their clothes, their faces,
expressions, etc., all figure into it.
The paintings of the dolls can resolve in many ways. They can
be scary, sweet, moving, disturbing, poignant, or provoke mixed
emotions. My aim is to go directly to the heart of the innocence
and haunting residue of childhood.
In this series the framing element is an integral part of the piece,
which helps to give each painting a singular look.