The Black Doll Series (2017) is a collection of non-gestural, digital images rooted in the aesthetic tradition of geometric abstraction. Sourcing original imagery of black vintage dolls for sale on e-commerce sites like Etsy and eBay, the dolls have been abstracted beyond recognition and paired with their original item description as image captions.
The mass production of black dolls dates back to 19th century Europe. With these “digital paintings” I am interested in the interplay between social representation and memory in relation to the historical constructions of race and gender as seen in children's play. Abstraction is used here to interrupt the stereotypical representations of each doll, as noted in the image captions.
In The Black Doll Series, Mestrich redefines vintage Black dolls through her own visual translation, using the power of abstraction and the syntax of shape, form and color to rewrite the sentence. She takes strange, stereotyped, or whitewashed portrayals and drastically alters them, owns them, makes them new. Which is not to say she removes them from reality altogether. Her color choices suggest skin tones, and her shapes hint at human form. Note how the composition of OOAK Vintage Black Francie Doll 2 is centered and lit like a classical portrait. A rich russet brown dominates the background. Layered, luminous fragments at center bring to mind the effect of light falling on the planes of a face — but instead of centering a recognizable subject with a face, her focal point is non-figurative ... Read more on the blog!
+ Pixelation in the prints is intentional—the artist created a specific look for each size of this edition.
+ Museum quality: archival inks, 100% cotton rag paper unless noted
+ Signed + numbered certificate of authenticity included
+ Handcrafted custom-framing is available
Our quoted dimensions are for the size of paper containing the images, not the printed image itself. We do not alter the aspect ratio, nor do we crop or resize the artists’ originals. All of our prints have a minimum border of .5 inches to allow for framing.
Museo Portfolio Rag