Check out Mari Shimizu’s ball-jointed doll masterpieces, including a doll with the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil planted in her chest, a doll with a ribcage infested with imp-like nightmares, a doll whose eviscerated torso has become a shrine to angels, conjoined twins with carven frames as of stained glass windows that look into their chests, and more. More on Facebook.
I particularly like the insistence on the core of the doll as another canvas, as well as the way so many of the dolls are spilling their guts and/or housing other dolls within them. The tension between the aesthetized, pacified child figures and the painful violence implicit in their opening charges them, I think, with a dynamism that enhances the sense that they’re alive. As much as I’m not a fan of Christian symbolism, the references to and postures of saints and crucifixion add an interesting dimension, inviting the viewer to frankly consider the grotesqueries, pain, and torture that Christianity has glossed over and miraculized in the formation of its origin story hagiography.
I also just like BJDs with large, round, ball-shaped joints [part of the reason for my continuing interest in DollMore’s Trinity line]. They hearken back to the rounded joints of late 19th-century bebe dolls. To me, they make the dolls seem both more antique and more weighty.