Thursday, January 4, 2018

Decadent Dolls?

The dolls of Julian S. Kalinowski  are all the rage, as the British doll maker continues to delight collectors with new faces and experiments. At first glance, it could be easy to say that Mr. Kalinowski's S-Girls, with their three distinct sculpts and OOAK fashions, are the best example of decadent exuberance. Yet, to enlighten our understanding and eliminate these superficial perceptions, Dolldom went right to the source - the doll maker himself. 

Dolldom: Aren't the S-Girls' Stella, Sable and Sylvain your current experiment in decadence?

Mr. Kalinowski: My work is not about decadence. I work within the limitations of my ability and in what's available for me to use. I'm restricted within the discipline of my own limitations. In that regard, my work is the opposite of 'decadent'. My dolls are not fashion dolls. They are 'anti fashion' dolls. Fashion is transient, it's part of its definition. I take inspiration from pre-existing 'classic ' ideas, appropriate everything, and put it together in a new way to create a 'dolly bricolage '. I learned my craft by copying the classics. That is the oldest, established method of becoming an artist. I cut my teeth by painting two thousand Lilli dolls and that taught me gestural painting; the discipline of a factory worker. After that I applied what I'd learnt to Séverine, my first 'original' doll. She was my mood board and my opportunity to experiment with ideas. Now, with the S girls, I'm working consecutively in two different ways; Sable and Stella are orthodox dolls, they are pretty and generic. But Sylvain is my first art doll as she is at odds with the accepted notion of what a doll is about. Everything about her is intentionally ambiguous.

In the end, it is up to collectors to decide how they wish to characterize their dolls. Mr. Kalinowski enjoys the fact that those who acquire his dolls project their own fantasies when photographing and playing with his creations. For that is the power of the doll as a receptacle for one's hopes, dreams, and perspective on life. 

Sylvain, Stella, and Sable overpower the salon with their unique fashion tastes.  Fashions by Debbie Farne Sang and Mode de M.

Mad Dash
Having gotten lost in the forest, Stella, Sable and Sylvain make the most of the natural surroundings. Fashions by LizRetros, Rosina Haskell, and Clare Duncan.

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1 comment:

  1. Excellent, Ernesto!!! You are ever inspiring!!! Thank you ❤❤❤