You may have already heard about the custom kokeshi show that’s going on at Subtext from 11/3 through 12/17 of this year, but if you haven’t I’m cordially inviting you to get out from under that rock where you’ve lately taken up residence. The show is the brainchild of Christina Conway whose own two-kokeshi collection and desire for “more feminine, positive images and varied art styles [for] toys” formed the impetus of the project. The result is a hybrid of doll and vinyl toy cultures that I’ve yet to stumble upon and some of the pieces are truly amazing.
Since there are so many to choose from I’ve decided to feature pieces from the show that are still available for sale as of my writing. High end Handmade Holiday, anyone? To buy visit the gallery via the link above; larger versions of images will open in a new window. Above Left: “Orange” by Johnny Yanok $300, Above Right: Untitled by Ana Bagayan and Ara Devejian $350.
The pieces in the show range from quirky to charming with all levels of detail, some kept it simple while some added to the kokeshi base. Left: Untitled by Catherine Campbell $350, Right: “Earth & Water” by M!ng $350
Two of my absolute favorite pieces from the show (feel free to buy either for me, incidentally). Left: “Mermaid by Leendert Masselink $300, Right: “Mirabelle” by Julie West $500
A few pieces used the front and back of the kokeshi really beautifully, but my favorite example is Axel Honey’s “Friends & Foes” ($300), above. The natural texture of the wood was left for the face on back, too (sadly, though, not on the front) which I think is a particularly charming detail.
Aall images were used with the permission of Conway.