Lena & Katya Popova. "Picasa". All rights reserved.

The sisters Lena and Katya Popova are two contemporary Russian artists whose main activity is to create artistic dolls. The image I´m going to analyze today belongs to “Fashion Moon” doll lamp series and its name is Picasa.

The main influences for these two artists are the african warriors, geishas and french ladies of the eighteenth century. Their dolls are made with airdry clay and paper as main materials, though sometimes they use complementary ones.

I have chosen Picasa because in her you can find several elements of different cultures and ages that combine in an ethernal image, very suggestive and with a lot of charm. In a first stage I realize that there are two main influences: Japonisme in the sophisticated hairstyle and in the pale face and the feature in the gesture, that remember the Geisha style and Rococó in the clothing, with an ocher flowered dress and a lot of complements like embroidered necklace and mittens.

Detail. All rights reserved.

In a second stage we find an italian influence: the Venetian Carnival. The doll takes in the left hand a mask that is located a few centimeters far from the face. It´s a second face to occult the true face. But this mask remembers also the greek theatre because is completely white and with no expression. If we compare the mask and the doll’s face they are similar, but the mask has no make up: her face lays hidden behind her real face.

This is an allegory of our real world. We are always hidden behind our wear and make up to signify what is our social status, the culture we belong to or the appearance we want to show to others. In our contemporary capitalist world we walk dressed up and it is not easy to discover who really we are. This doll symbolizes this question: her style is complex and miscellaneous and we don´t know who really she is. The mask is the answer, the only true of the whole composition.

However, the result of this artwork is a complex doll that combines all those elements to make a beautiful and mysterious female icon.


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