Attempting to nostalgically address the beauty of survival, Jessica Tampas‘ Dolls series features portraits of forgotten toy companions. Having amassed over 100 early- and mid-century dolls, Tampas’ series shatters the ideals of perfect youth.
“People often want to know the history behind these dolls. Who were their previous owners? How did they come to look the way they do? Do I collect them, alter them? My approach to creating this series is far more subjective. I never set out to become a collector, per se (though by now I’ve amassed more than 100 early- and mid-century dolls), and I don’t alter them in any way. Frankly, I’m not so concerned with these dolls’ history, even if I play an important role in it, giving them a longevity they probably never expected to have. For me these little beings are simply heartbreaking creatures, typologies of survival and loss, and, I suppose, ultimately, psychological portraits of something inside myself that I might not otherwise be able to express as an adult. We have all weathered emotional traumas in the transition from childhood to now. By not altering the dolls, I let their faces tell their own story — one that I feel is ultimately about what it means to be both fragile and a survivor, and…human.”
– Jessica Tampas.
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