Corner: Art Dolls
By Lynda McDaniel
These Lilliputian re-creations of humans and animals,
reality and fantasy have become giants in the art world. Over the past
decade, art dolls have left their ancestral house, leaping out of the cradle
and onto the pedestal. And Hollywood has awarded them star status, with
such celebrities as Demi Moore, Anne Rice, Richard Simmons, Roseanne and
Rosie O'Donnell enthusiastically collecting them.
"There is a little soul in these pieces," says Nancie
Mann, owner of the Boston-based Mann Gallery, devoted exclusively to art
dolls. "When you look at them, they really move you." She is referring
specifically to the work of Jodi and Richard Creager. But the same could
be said of the figurative sculptures by Akira Blount, Lisa Lichtenfels,
Bob McKinley, Anne Mitrani, Bill Nelson, Jo-Ellen Trilling, Pamela Cowart-Rickman
and Anne Mayer Meier.
Figurative sculpture comes in a broad range of sizes,
styles, mediums and prices. Mediums include fabric, wax, poured latex,
vinyl, paper, washi paper and an assortment of clays--polymer, paper, air
dry and stone. Some artists have started making limited editions from original
molds, resins and clays. Depending on the size and reputation of the artist,
figurative sculptures can range in price anywhere from $125 to $10,000.
As with other crafts, the cardinal rule of collecting--love
the object first--applies here. Learn everything you can from the Mann
Gallery's informative web site (www.manngallery.com) and others.
A newsletter and books are offered along with artists'
links at the NIADA site (www.niada.org). The next NIADA conference is July
7-17, 2000, at the Hotel Intercontinental in Chicago, Ill.
And get to know gallery owners who have been following
this movement over the past 15 years. Their knowledge and passion can prove