Kathy Ruttenberg’s figurative sculpture is dreamy, primitive, and thought-provoking. Visit her website for more pictures.
Today’s featured doll artist is proof that you don’t need genius technical skills or phenomenal attention to detail to be successful. Don’t get me wrong — I’m not saying that Christine Alvarado doesn’t have those qualities — but the charm of her dolls is their sketchlike simplicity. I would call them folksy or primitive, except for their luscious, urban-styled costumes. I want to pick them up and play with them.
I haven’t discovered yet what they’re made of, but Alvarado’s dolls are simply sculpted (or maybe cast from molds) and heavily painted with dreamy, cartoon-like faces. They have simple shoulder joints, and some have bent arms. The legs seem to be jointed too, although the leg joints are firm enough to stand, at least when propped against something. The dolls have costumes that range from simple print dresses to luxurious velvet coats.
The costumes are half of the charm of these pieces. I love how Alvarado uses graphical prints, just the right amount of texture, and unexpected trimmings. Some of the pieces have crocheted lace for scarves or fancy braid for necklaces. Many of them come with extras, like little cats to hold in their laps, masks that actually fit them, or painted portraits of themselves. And then there are her equally lovely mermaids, which have less costume but more embellishment.
By the way, I’m not exactly sure (and I’m too lazy to look it up) but this blog is about a year old now, and I want to thank everybody who reads regularly. Please leave me a comment — I love your feedback!