Thursday, October 11, 2007

Morton Bartlett (Nicole's Pick)

Morton Bartlett is a photographer originally born in Chicago and then adopted by a family in Boston. He was enchanted with the idea of creating a family and thus created his own. He constructed and created small anatomically correct children out of plaster and then dressed them in handmade clothes and handmade wigs. He would posed the children in a setting and photograph them, sometimes clothed and sometimes naked. He would photograph them in primarily black and white. Morton Bartlett interests me because he created this whole family for himself. He builds such intricate dolls and creates photographs that make you do a double take, wondering if the dolls are really small children or not.

Morton Bartlett relates to Shawn Barber’s Doll series. Barber tries to create a sense of realism as does Bartlett. Barber also focuses a lot on the detail of each doll which Bartlett captures in his photo.

I also liked Whitney’s pick, of Mandy Lamb. The images are soft and delicate and the Polaroid camera adds a sort of whimsical feel.


mpiedrahita said...

I really like the Morton Bartlett presents the dolls in a way which doesn't down-play the fact that they are actually dolls. I like the feeling that these are clearly dolls, but there is something strange about the positioning, expression and clothing with Bartlett's dolls. The fact that you can see a hint of the doll's nipples in the photo you posted also adds to the creepy human/doll association that you feel when seeing his work. I think that this could be something for you to explore in the future, because I know that there has been talk of down-playing the figure and clothing, but I think that if you did the complete opposite, it could have the same kind of effect that you are looking for.

Mike Seidman said...

considering what's written above, Bartlett's work submerses in a sense of familiarity and expectations that he deliberately does not indulge.