Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Please Respond: Toy Pictures

Ok, so after some deliberation, I've decided to continue with the toy pictures I worked on this summer. I never really took the project that seriously, at least, in the context of my "career" (ha!), but they seem to be somewhat popular. I actually started the series for two reasons. First, I wanted to do something different for an Independent Study, and I thought Bratz dolls were skanky enough, and Barbie iconic enough, to yield some interesting results. Secondly, I don't have access to a lot of people who will work with me. Amateur porn stars don't grow on trees (the have sex in them?). So dolls were a good way to experiment with color, lighting, and humor without sacrificing a friendship or expoiting a person. Barbie and I definitely have an S&M relationship.

So this is where you come in. I'd like feedback. Suggestions, loans of old toys, anything. Post a comment in the blog, email me, send me a singing gorilla-gram, anything--I just want to hear what you have to say. I'll post a few questions or ideas below to get this started. However, please keep in mind that I'm somewhat limited by the schedule and budget of a college student in her last months. Meaning, my time is usually spent writing papers, studying for the GREs, or freaking out about said papers and GREs, so I don't have the time or resources to make mini nipple clamps for Barbie. But believe me, if Barbie had nipples, and I had the time and money, I'd make a whole collection. Mattel hates me. That's why I'm a card-carrying member of the ACLU.

1. Any "costume" scenerios? Naughty schoolgirl? Sexy librarian?
2. I've been playing with the idea of using old dolls, like from the 50s and 60s, but aging the film to make it look like the print is from the same era, too. So if anyone has old, old dolls, and is willing to loan them to me for a short time, that would be fantastic.
3. I'm already on the prowl for anything S&M-ish thats out in toy stores, so thats a no-brainer.

Basically, I'm willing for force Barbie to do anything, so if you have any requests, let me know. The Dude abides.


Anonymous J.T. Kirkland said...


You know me... I'll offer up my 2 cents. My biggest qualm with this solicitation of input is this quote: "...but they seem to be somewhat popular."

I would advise against making art that you don't really have an interest in ("I never really took the project that seriously") just because it's popular to others. That doesn't sound like artmaking to me. I'd just advise being true to your creative self. Don't let the "market" dictate what you do.

If you do continue along these lines - and admittedly it is funny - then I'd advise looking at what other artists have done (this isn't such new territory). You might be able to find a new direction or find a way to make it personal to Samantha.

Just some thoughts...

12:44 PM  
Blogger Samantha Wolov said...

i'm sorry, i didn't want it to seem like i was settling for this, or i wasn't that into it. i am. or at least, i am now. i wasn't for a while. i stopped because i didn't have much time, i only had three or four dolls, and they weren't that flexible, so i felt there was a limit to what i could do. but im getting more dolls and accessories, and im hoping that i can rekindle this. usually, with photo projects, there is the initial excitement, but it gets progressively stronger. im sure in a few weeks this will be all i'll want to do.

as for making this personal, i don't actively try to make it impersonal, but i find there's very little of me in my work. it is, to the point that this is what i want to do, this is what i think looks good, or makes me laugh, so it's reflective of my taste, but i'm not promoting an agenda or trying to tell a story. i'm not actively expressing myself (although i'm sure some people would argue that's what i'm doing). this is what i choose to spend my time and money on. the doll pictures are fun. they make me laugh. i want to do this. but i like the fact that they seem to make other people laugh too. yes, i'm doing this for me, but i want to do this for other people, too. i don't think there's anything wrong with that.

so if i explained i was an only child, would that explain anything?

1:28 PM  
Blogger Samantha Wolov said...

but for the record, i want to do this. trust me, with my workload, for me to undertake another photo project, i would have to.

1:29 PM  
Blogger James W. Bailey said...

Dear Samantha,

You never know to what unpopular dark erotic corner a popular idea may take you.

Are you familiar with Dare Wright's Lonely Doll books and photographs? Check out the following web sitehttp://www.darewright.com/inprint.htm

I don't want to say much to influence you, but I think your doll series taps into a redemptive vein of thought about the modern familiar (popular) sensibility of mass-media induced disconnected eroticism – a similar sensibility that was somewhat cleverly narrated and portrayed by Wright in her allegorically charged work that appropriated as inspiration the popular context of 1950s magazine mediatized images of erotic innocence.

I don’t know how committed you really are to the series, but I would suggest that you have something going on with the photographs I’ve seen – they break the surface tension of modern erotic photography with some wild kinetic dreams. Whether you intended it or not, whether you’re committed to it or not, whether it’s popular or not, I would call that accomplishment art.


P.S. I would be remiss to not tell you this: your doll photos make me smile.

1:35 PM  
Blogger Samantha Wolov said...

wow. thanks!

this is more of a question for everyone: does a solicitation for requests or suggestions really transform artistic inspiration into bias or influence? artists are influenced by other artists all the time. heck, there was a time when artists told other artists what to do, who to be , how to produce, etc. i'm not asking for people to tell me how to make the art, nor is anyone trying to control the finished product (i wouldn't let them). plus, i'm under no obligation to listen to any suggestion anyway. but i've already come out and said i want to make people smile. i'm not about to sacrifice my own goals or ideas in the name of someone else's, but i just want to know what other people would like to see. i'm dedicated to my project, but i enjoy making other people feel good. that's all i wanted when i asked for suggestions for content.

2:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just saw your new webpage and got a huge laugh out of the plastic series. I was looking at the pictures and had the following thought process, "these are the virgins, huh, well, I think they could lead me down a path. Ooh, these are mild...hmm, some of em are kind of medium. Ahhh, these are medium...oh, I kind of like that one. Hot...um yes, those are definitely hot. Plastic...plastic?...plastic?!...bwa haa haa. Those are just plain funny". I dig your photos, but especially the plastic ones, they made me laugh. Your blog called for suggestions about the plastic project. I have an idea and I don't think it would require any money. Have you ever seen those enormous tube shaped pillows that human beings buy to sleep next to? Those big pillows are long, tube-shaped, and the length of a human body. I think they are called body pillows. Maybe you could find something, long, tube shaped, and plastic...and sometimes battery operated...that is a toy, that barbie, also a toy, could use as a body pillow?



8:19 AM  

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