David Fratkin is a New York-based artist.

NYR DAILY

Uncanny Christmas

Mystic Menu

My love of the doll imagery of Joseph Cornell and James Ensor, for instance, is partly born of the sense of childhood kept alive. Their work preserves the uncanny perception of dolls’ attractive creepiness, a seeming consciousness. Received ideas are unwittingly incarnated in the manufactured rubber objects and identities emerge. Using artificial breasts, snakes, naked baby-dolls, and other props, I give that consciousness expression, satirizing what was unwitting and making it manifest and visceral: a weird vision ripe with resonant gender tensions, aesthetic hierarchies, neuroses, and perhaps, spirituality.