The Little Fools: Roz Leibowitz

A collection of vintage dolls is the subject of New York City-based artist Roz Leibowitz’s black and white photographs. Instead of a variety of sweet and frilly dolls, the cast of characters that inhabit these images are a strange bunch—some have cracked heads, while others are sadly misshapen. Leibowitz’s idiosyncratic lot of weathered and often broken dolls is found in flea markets, thrift stores and online auctions; others are the artist’s hand-made creations. While some photographs are absurd and humorous, they more often evoke dark, eerie associations. Leibowitz’s images lead us into unfamiliar territory—as if in the darkness of night these dolls awaken to live out their own eccentric tales. These sensations are heightened by the artist’s use of selective focus, peculiar settings, camera angles, and the contorted poses of the dolls. The unsettling feeling evoked by some of Leibowitz’s images brings to mind Hans Bellmer (1902-1975) and Morton Bartlett’s (1909-1992) disconcerting photographs of dolls. A focal point of the exhibition is an installation of over 80 gelatin silver prints presented in eclectic vintage frames and arranged randomly over two walls.


Roz Leibowitz (American, born 1954)
Paul Turned, 2014  Gelatin silver print
Courtesy of the artist