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  1500 Jackson St. NE #443 Minneapolis, MN 55413 | Phone: 612.788.1790 | icebox@bitstream.net  
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Icebox Gallery presents:

“Dolls” new photographic work by Howard M. Christopherson

Dolls is a body of work of a collection of twenty close-up portraits of porcelain headed dolls photographed in natural light in the same way a real person would be. The effect is intriguing, enchanted, lifelike, adorable and sometimes eerie.

“I have always been interested in photographing mannequins, dolls and masks but this work is unique because it is derived from one woman’s collection of porcelain dolls all shot in the same light giving them a cohesiveness and sisterhood. There is magic in these green, brown and blue eyes that I hope to capture, they transport me to a place somewhere between reality and fabrication. “ –Christopherson

The history of dolls begins in the prehistoric times. Porcelain dolls go back to 1770’s when the doll heads were manufactured in Cornwall, England. This collection of dolls belongs to Kay and they were all given to her beginning in the 1960’s. These are not extraordinary but they are beautiful dolls, not museum pieces or extremely rare, but some of them have lifelike eyelashes and moving eyes. Others have their lashes and eyebrows painted on. Most of the dolls have glass eyes that would move when the doll is tilted. Each doll has a distinctive cherub look, air-brushed pink cheeks, lifelike hair, dressed with lace and some are adorned with jewels. No doubt that each doll is dressed to attend a special tea party with friends.

Some of the dolls have scrambled hair; presumably when a child played with Kay’s dolls, but Kay had no children of her own. She has lived her life in South Dakota in a very small town. She calls her house “The Doll House.” This is most of Kay’s collection of porcelain dolls. These dolls were photographed as they were found, some dusty and some have cracked eyes. The dust seems to make the skin look even more real and long strands of hair go in and out of focus that gives them life.

Some questions that can be asked when looking at these images are; Where does the “soul” of a person begin to be captured in photography? Is a photograph of an artificial doll almost as revealing of personality as that of real person if both are transferred to the same two dimensions and captured in the same light? How much are we affected by Hollywood’s portrait of sinister dolls? Why is it that dolls sometimes appear eerie or ghostly even if they are an incent child’s toy?

Title: Dolls, Color photography by Howard M. Christopherson - People, Places & Dreams
Opening: 7 PM ~ 11 PM Saturday, February 6th, 2010 exhibited through Saturday, May 1.

Image of Howard M. Christopherson

  HOURS: Tues. - Fri. - 10 to 6, Saturday - 12 to 5, First Thursday's until 9pm