Fear, Beauty, and the Abject: Handcrafted Art Dolls by Emilie Steele

Emilie Steele - Thorns (cover)
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Emilie Steele is a multidisciplinary artist based in Stockholm, Sweden, who creates handcrafted posable art dolls. Each doll’s body is first sculpted in clay, then silicone molds are made, and the pieces are cast in resin. Steele also makes all the clothes, wigs, and accessories by hand. These are far from your ordinary dolls, notable for their enchanting combination of beauty and the grotesque; with their exaggerated or duplicated features—such as rodent-esque teeth, blacked-out eyes, and multiple heads and limbs—they take on a surreal quality that both attracts and repels the viewer. Steele describes them as “abject figures” that long to be human, hovering in the uncomfortable borderlands of consciousness, expressing traits that are universal but not socially accepted. “Displaying constructed dolls can remind us that we, ourselves, are artificial and constructed,” Steele writes. “Casting identical dolls from the same mold also makes contradicting attributes possible within the same character,” thereby expressing the fluid nature of identity. Visit Steele’s Instagram for more.

Emilie Steele - Torn, detail Emilie Steele - VIP Lips and Nips Emilie Steele - Red 2 Emilie Steele - Dolled Up
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Emilie Steele - Keep Your Wild Side Silent Emilie Steele - Aquatic Emilie Steele - yellow flowers Emilie Steele - I Would Rather Be Red Emilie Steele - Blue from the Borderline project
Images © Emilie Steele

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Hayley Evans is a freelance writer and editor hailing from Montréal. Her affinity is with the written word and anything that is dark, beautiful, erotic, or strange. Follow the author @ and view more articles.