The doll that I am now working on is going to be based off of Joyce Carol Vincent, a 38 year old woman that was found dead in her apartment after 3 years in the UK. She was laid out in front of her television (that was somehow still on) with Christmas gifts that she had wrapped around her. They couldn’t determine the cause of death since her body was so badly decomposed and they could only identify her by dental records. I have so many questions when I think of this story but my main one is who was she bringing gifts to and why didn’t they look for her when she didn’t show up for the holidays? I can’t stop thinking about how easy it was for her to not be missed by friends and family. In the documentary about the story called “Dreams of a Life”, one woman said she just thought she was off somewhere having a better life than she was. She didn’t do drugs or drink and everyone that was interviewed spoke very highly of her. How unfortunate, for this beautiful young woman to die alone as she did. It just makes me wonder if something like this could happen today with all of this technology that we have. “Dreams of a life” is on Netflix if you would like to know more about this tragic story.
So here’s how Joyce turned out. In the process of creating this doll, I heavily relied on how she was portrayed in the documentary about her. Her character was dressed in blue throughout the whole movie, so I chose to to do the same with the doll. I decided to go with the hair style that the real Joyce had in her photos, the character that portrayed her had too many to choose from. Since she was surrounded by gifts when they found her, I decided to have her hold one to symbolize the gift of life. It’s so unfortunate that her life ended the way that it did, this may be the first of many that I create of or about her.
Here is a late update from my last two shows, one was at MF Gallery in Brooklyn and the other was SpaceWomb in Long Island City. The show at SpaceWomb was so last second that I had to snatch up some dolls from my shelf, but I was very thankful to be invited. It’s conveniently located across from MoMA PS1 and the opening fell on the same night as their annual warm up event. It was surprisingly quiet considering the amount of foot traffic happening at MoMA, I guess we needed party music and more drinks to compete with them. In contrast, the opening at MF Gallery was very lively as usual with a few familiar faces from my previous job at SourceMedia. We had a blast, Frank and Martina always have a great turnout! I must thank Frank for taking the photo of me, he always catches me at my best.
I am so excited about this weekend. This Saturday, June 8th will be MF Gallery’s big 10th anniversary extravaganza show. I will have the pieces shown above in it, and this will mark my 7th Gallery showing. All of the pieces will be priced at $100, so I might actually sell something for once, lol! I haven’t been focusing on selling my dolls, I just create and hoard them. Hopefully I’ll break out of this habit soon, I’m beginning to run out of space. It’s kind of hard to let go of something you spend so much time on, especially when you start making outfits to put on them. Well anywho, with the above pieces they all seem to have one thing in common, and that’s confinement. It wasn’t intentional, it just turned out that way. It all started with an Archer’s iced coffee. After drinking it I realized that the label can be pulled off of the bottle clean. I then held on to it with intentions of making a doll small enough to fit inside of it. With me being obsessed with air plants at the time, I decided to make some sort of doll terrarium, so I put peat moss and flowers in with her. The second one was the doll in the frame. I had a few sea shells around so I decided to use them as some sort of horns for her head. I already had a frame that I planned on putting her in ahead of time. The last one was directly inspired from the Beatle’s Octopus’ Garden. I was listening to the song while re-potting my orchids and started thinking of the lyrics and how silly it was for an octopus to have a garden. After a quick Google search I realized that they actually do have gardens that they make out of rocks and shells that they collect. I decided to play with the idea and have an octopus with a flower garden as I and I’m sure many other’s have envisioned after hearing the song. I painted him on the side of the pot picking a flower. The show will be on Saturday June 8th at 213 Bond st, Brooklyn N.Y., from 7-10pm.
Harlem Doll and gift show 12-6pm
And then … MF Gallery 7-10pm
I had prepared for the 8th for about two months, and it has come and gone. I had two shows scheduled, one at a gallery which I just needed to show up to and the other at the Harlem doll and gift show where I had to man a table for six hours. I have never done a craft show, so I really didn’t have a clue on how to prepare. All I knew was that I was going to be given a table and that I needed to put stuff on it, which I didn’t have much of. Since I don’t make dolls as frequently as I should, I had quite a few sleepless nights leading up to that day. I didn’t make as many dolls as I wanted to, so I decided to focus on decorating my table with promotional items and other crafts like earrings and hats. Getting there was a nightmare, public transportation is the worst. I took the bus all the way to the train station only to find out that my train wasn’t going downtown, so I took a different train only to get out and catch a cab. This left me all of 15 minutes to set up my table. I just wanted to crawl into a corner, hold myself and cry. In a frenzy, I pulled it off and was pretty happy with the outcome. I met quite a few interesting people there, one in particular stood out to me which I had the pleasure to be stationed next to for the whole day. Her name was Shirley Nigro, and she had a massive collection of dolls. They were all handmade by her and each one was unique in its own way. They ranged in sizes, styles and expressions. She had to have over two hundred dolls with her, which made my table of twelve look like left overs. By five thirty, I had to start packing so that I could make it to the other show which started at seven, in Brooklyn. The craft show was all the way in Harlem and I still needed to drop my things off at home. Needless to say, I was late to the opening. When I got there, I was surprised to see to see a handful of friends, some old and some new. I even got a chance to speak to some of the other artists that I’ve shown with in the previous year’s show there. Last year the gallery took one doll for the show but this time they accepted three. So exciting! Overall it was a great day, famished, and exhausted as I was. Would I double book again? Maybe if I get a car :)
The funny thing is that making a zombie doll was the furthest thing from my mind when I originally started this one. When I let the clay dry, I noticed that her bone structure was a bit strong. That was the moment that I realized what she had become. But don’t let her looks fool you, she’s quite the intellect. She also likes flowers….
I’ve had the pleasure to see Wear it Like a Crown by the Swedish circus group called Cirkus Cirkör over the weekend. It might look like some kind of a weird horror movie from the photos, but it was an amazing circus act. It was very bizarre with some of it’s characters and movie clips they played in the background,but I guess I like that sort of thing.
This is a new doll that I started working on. I was inspired by the great Frida Kahlo’s Little Deer painting. I’ve always admired and wanted to make a sculpture version out of it but didn’t acquire the skills until recently. I still have a long way to go with my craftsmanship before I feel satisfied with my work, but I am getting there.