The world is filled with some of the most awe-inspiring creations. From photography, to sculptures, to illustrations, to digital creations (and the list goes on and on) there are artists from all over creating some daring works of art. Thanks to social media, artists are able to expand their reach to a host of new collectors. From the looks of it, gone are the days of the ultra-rich art dealer, selling notable works for bazillions of dollars. In fact, a recent report revealed that art sales are up among the younger crowd and that the tastes of these nouveau collectors is extremely varied which helps open the door for all types of emerging artists like the Popovy Sisters.
The Popovy Sisters (Ekaterina and Elena a/k/a Katya & Lena) are professional artists and fashion designers from Perm, Russia, and they have absolutely wowed us with their virtuosity and striking talent. These two young women simply ooze talent that is hard to compare. They are doing something completely different—it’s erotic and sexy, but innocent all at the same time. That’s why we could not resist making them the featured Artist(s) of the Week.
You won’t find these dolls in the Barbie aisle of your local Toys R’ Us, nor will you find any mass produced versions. Even if you wanted one, it would take least a couple of years to have it delivered, and that’s because there is a very long waiting list! Each of these dolls are one-of-a-kind—a miniature reality of sculpted perfection, mixed with haute couture fashion, but with a really pervy twist. An ideal way to play adult dress-up with expertly crafted fantasy. For the Popovy twins, it has become surprisingly apparent they had found a successful solution for combining their passion for doll art with their passion for high end fashion design.
You can instantly tell that these tiny creations are literally a labor of love. The sister’s claim that there’s a huge amount of preparative work that goes into each doll. First, the idea is born and from there they develop a concept and a story line. Because each doll is made for a specific collection, the story is an essential part of the art. Without it, the dolls just become inanimate figurines. It’s the whole package from the history, to nature, to the textures, to the costumes, to the overall movement and tone—every single detail is worked out even before any dolls are constructed.
Once the storyline or plot of the collection is finally developed, the hard, and yet, fun part begins. The sisters do not reveal too much about how these dolls are constructed, but there is some porcelain pieces, as well as, Japanese paper process that is included to create the body of each figure. The dolls were not posable until 2012, when collectors began asking for articulating versions.
According to the sisters, “Each doll tells a story and has her own form of expression. We dress them in the boldest of high-fashion designs and inject a thematic narrative by sculpting their expressions.” From start to finish, and by the looks of it, a ton of love goes into every thing. For instance, the lacing on the ballet shoes are finished with the finest decorative embellishments, which gives each figurine a sensual and textural aura. An added bonus, is that each doll has her own little hand painted butterfly somewhere on her body. Shhhh, don’t tell anyone.
Because of the amount of time, effort, and materials, the sisters make only one collection a year. Ever since they started in 2002, galleries all over the world have been clamoring to exhibit these works of wonder. The satisfaction the sisters receive is not when a collection is completed, but when the exhibitions begin. For these twins, they love to watch people faces when they finally see their work for the first time. The reaction of their audience is very meaningful because it’s like that moment in time, when everything they’ve been working so diligently on all year, is born and given to the public. They thrive on the emotions that their collections generate.
Of course, much like any other artists, the Popovy sisters are extremely proud to be working, full-time artist, but they do not like the thought of becoming complacent. With every new year, they challenge each other to push things a bit further. For them, it’s not only about making a handful of dolls a year, it’s also about coming up with new ways of presenting their work. Their most recent exhibition included an entire display area which had a specific set design and background music. By including new elements like original music score and sets, their work elicits even more fascination and wonderment. Almost like an adults only circus performance, but without all the creepy clowns.
Great art is meant to be felt, heard, and touched—appreciated with all of the sense, not just the eyes. The Popovy sisters have a precise mix of eroticism, fine art, and fashion. One doll does not overshadow the other and each their elements and costumes plays a key role in the whole experience. Executed beyond our imagination, these two ladies from Russia have taken us into the Valley of the Dolls, where everything feels like an ultra-fine adult fantasy land. And we love it!
Learn more about the Popovy Sister Collection here.