“My Sister’s Doll” at Figureworks
The Christmas Saga
One Christmas in the mid 1960’s, my older sister, Jane, unwrapped a very special present. It was a large, beautiful doll in a special edition box – the perfect gift to steal the heart of a ten-year-old girl. A short while later, our less-privileged cousins came over, and my father, feeling charitable to the only girl in their family, made my sister give her new doll to her cousin.
My mother was furious and my sister was heartbroken. Christmas didn’t end well that year. I felt so badly for my sister that I went upstairs and made a doll from an old toilet paper roll to give her as a replacement. This began a yearly tradition in which Jane has received a unique doll from me on Christmas every year. This collection has become quite eclectic ranging from exquisite finds to those on par with that first creation!
In honor of nearly 50 years of this tradition, I enlisted 50 artists to create a doll for a special exhibition where Jane will be our “guest judge”. Her choice will take first prize in the show and become this year’s Christmas Doll.
When I asked my artists to participate, I had no idea how enthusiastically they would embrace this side-project or how cathartic it would be for so many. Most artists have made direct connections to a similar family event that seeded lasting fond or troubled memories. As they were given no restrictions, the diversity in this work is inspired, ranging from intimate paintings to abstracted, life-size sculptures. One thing became consistent though – each doll evokes a powerful, emotional response far exceeding my initial request.
I trust this stimulating exhibition may now inspire fond memories for each of you too. Thank you all for ending this season on such a high note at Figureworks.
Randall Harris, Director
Figureworks is located at 168 North 6th St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY 11211, one block from the Bedford Avenue “L” train. The gallery is open to the public Saturday and Sunday from 1-6 PM and is dedicated to exhibiting contemporary and 20th century fine art of the human form.