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Photographer Creates Bizarre Self-Portraits Out of Dolls

By Jules Ebe on November 18th 2013


The self-portrait is a common medium for photographers to explore new ideas and their identity as an artist. Recreating ones self in an altering state can be quite cathartic. But what about taking found objects, adding shades of acrylic paint and embroidery thread, and creating a oddly familiar version of yourself?

That is exactly what Boston-based photographer Caleb Cole has done. In his new series Dolls, Cole adds male-pattern boldness, mutton-chop sideburns, and bushy eyebrows with paint and thread in shades of his own red hair. He then photographs the flea-market finds as self-portraits that are oddly cute and bizarre all at the same time.

Often thought of as toys for children, dolls are models of not only who those children are expected to become as future parents, but also of where they came from, of who they used to be as infants.

Cole explains, “Children’s selection of certain dolls is about personal identification, a blank canvas onto which they can project their desires, and caring for the dolls becomes a process of understanding themselves — how is this doll like me or unlike me? Who am I and who will I become?”

[rewind: 15th Century Flemish Style Portraits in an Airplane Lavatory]  










To check out more of Cole’s work, be sure to visit his website:

Until Next Time . . .

Stay Inspired ~ Jules

Image Credit: Caleb Cole

[via Feature Shot]


is a Southern California based Conceptual Artist and Photographer. Her work has been featured in several print publications and selections can be seen in local gallery exhibitions. Connect with her on Facebook and Google+.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Blake

    What does this have to do with photography? Even the artist does not describe himself as a photographer (“Visual and Performing Artist”). Why are you giving him that label? Just seems odd for SLR lounge to post this.

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