February 17, 2010

Wanted: Alberto Giacometti-esque Dolls


Alright, now that the modernist upstart toy company brinca dada has broken the mold on dollhouse families, DT commenter Teufelkindsvater suggested going all the way:

I think little dolls made out of twisted wire or dark bronze coloured Sculpey Clay, ala Alberto Giacometti would be just the ticket in this mini pad.
I couldn't agree more. So I'm hereby placing my order for some kid-safe, Giacometti X Gumby-lookin' dolls. They should be rough and skinny, the color of nicely patinated bronze, with big doorstop-shaped feet. You should be able to pose them, either with their hands pointing out, in a falling motion, striding, whatever. The mother doesn't need to be bald; she could have Annette's hairdo. The kids would obviously just be smaller versions of the parents, though not so small your kid could fit them all in a matchbox when you flee across the Alps.

Wow, here's a quick bit from a 1985 NY Times review of James Lord's biography of Giacometti about how the artist worked on his sculptures:

One reason Giacometti's tall thin sculptures can look so alike, Mr. Lord explains, is that the artist never strove for a state of finish. His hands would flutter up and down a piece, pinching and gouging and incising the clay, in a seemingly hopeless, even heartbreaking, struggle for verisimilitude. Sometimes he would push the figure through the most extraordinary changes, only to hark back to something like his initial conception. Whenever he arrived at a new plateau, an eminence from which he might look back at a respectable leg of the unending journey, he would get Diego to make a mold of the piece for casting. What was fine in the thing was not the realization of an imagined idea -though some malleable ghost of idea had to be there from the start - but the tangible record of struggle for the truth. Thus from the same clay quite a few bronze statues could be cast. What Giacometti left, then, was really a series of three-dimensional ''snapshots'' of several earthen lumps in a state of flux. Small wonder that they often look quite alike.
Hah, these dolls will blow Unhappy Hipsters right out of the water. Who's game?

1 Comment

People made using this method come pretty close if you stop at the foil-only stage and don't tape or paint them.
Obviously they're not quite the right colour (though a quick dip in some diluted woodstain or similar might fix that) and not especially sturdy, but they are infinitely poseable, very cheap and dead easy to make - in fact the kid could make them herself and save you the hassle...

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