Doll enthusiasts have created a unique industry for themselves, often taking vinyl doll “skeletons” and “reborning” them to look like living, breathing babies. It’s a startling and surreal thing to behold, but the painstaking level of detail is admirable. French artist Laurence Ruet — whose work we first spotted on Design You Trust — also makes “living dolls,” but her creations are perhaps more unique.
All of her dolls are one of a kind works, made without a mold, and sculpted from polymer clay. She also crafts the clothes, shoes, and “pets” that go along with them. Ruet puts a lot of thought into portraying the emotions of the dolls, and each tiny figure’s chubby cheeks, freckles, and missing teeth express their personalities in a beautiful, but uncanny way. See what we mean, below.
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Bubblegum and colored pencils aren’t normally associated with the grotesque, but artist Julia Randall uses the child-centric materials in her newest body of work, Blown. “I craft images that are simultaneously erotic and humorous, beautiful and repulsive,” she writes. Randall’s drawing technique is impeccable and incredibly detailed — each image hyperrealistically rendered with delicate layers of color and texture — but the surreality and abjectness equally captured our attention. A few of the drawings feature disembodied lips, tensely pursed and expelling bubbles — similar to her other works of mouths frothy with saliva.
“Bubblegum initially connotes innocent, cheeky pleasure, yet the fragile skin of gum also points to the susceptible human body, and the dreaded passage of time,” Randall muses about Blown. “The bubble is a vessel that holds our breath, for a brief moment, in a physical form. Seen as a group, the inflating/deflating bubble imagery is a visual manifestation of breathing.”
Visit Randall’s bubblegum drawings after the jump, and see them in person at Garvey Simon Art Access starting November 14, the Weatherspoon Art Museum’s Art on Paper biennial on October 21, and a Middlesex County College academic collaborative exhibition opening September 25. By the way, if you’re wondering what brand makes the biggest, sturdiest bubbles, Randall advises that Hubba Bubba and Bubblicious reign supreme.
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Milwaukee-based artist Marc Sijan is a sculptor striving for realism in the style of Duane Hansen or John DeAndrea. He recreates his everyday subjects as they are, painstakingly including every wrinkle, pore, and vein of the ordinary human’s form. The life-size sculptures are so eerily realistic they might be mistaken for spectators at his exhibitions — ready to spring into motion at a moment’s notice. Click through to check out more of his work.
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