Monday, June 26, 2006

devoted to devout dolls

we first became aware of the work of Sara Lanzillotta and her Devout Dolls during a tour of Long Gone John's veritable museum of arty treats and treasures almost two years ago now...we were working on our calendar, which Sympathy for the Record Industry was putting out for us, and thus had the great excuse to trek down to Sympathy's headquarters in Long Beach to work out details and such.

LGJ is a private man, letting only a few lucky souls into his domain - oh, and a film crew - looky here for details on Gregg Gibbs' recent documentary "The Treasures of Long Gone John" - and we felt honored as he guided us from room to room to secret-hidden-behind-the-bookcase record room, pointing out and giving us the history of many of the myriad paintings, toys, pieces of jewelry (some necklaces from the Gorey estate, casually hanging on a nail in the bathroom), books, sketches, etc etc.

on one bookcase were a collection of tiny, delicate cotton dolls, many siamese, made with meticulous attention to detail. we must have seen the work of a hundred artists, but these little guys stuck in my mind...perhaps because of the contradictions inherent in them - cute and tragic - or perhaps because of their conjoined state, which Fif' and i are fascinated with for obvious reasons (when our mum was pregnant with us, back when medical technology was still in its early, developmental stages i guess, her obstetrician decided that we were joined at the head, filled the operating room with dozens of specialists and refused to let our dad in to watch our birth...our parents, with steely resolve, had decided that they would keep us together rather than risk losing one...can you imagine us wrestling if that big dummy had been right?? we'd probably be rich enough to retire by now...)

in any case, when one gloomy morning i opened my email to find this image from out of the murky blue, i knew exactly from whose nimble and blessed fingers they had sprung, and really, honestly, could not have been more elated and honored...

based on a photo we took with Tony Baker which was used in an article in Venus Magazine, these dolls are spot on down to the frilly underdressings and the expressions on their faces...i immediately found her on good ol' Myspace, and threatened to show up on her doorstep in Seattle in order to cradle them in my own two hands, to take in every little exquisite detail myself, and i do hope she is understanding when she gets the knock on her door...

sadly enough for me, the dolls were commissioned and not for sale, but she has many, many more pieces which may be purchased and i encourage the whole world to do so, especially if the whole world would like to send them to us for our birthday...

a doll like this one, for instance