Dystopian Doll Houses

Lucretius observed, “a small thing may give an analogy of great things and show the tracks of knowledge.”

House of Chance

House of Chance • 40” x 40”  O/C  ©2021

At Home with Robert

At Home With Robert • 40” x 40”  O/C  ©2022

Home is Where the Heart Is

Home Is Where The Heart Is • 40” x 40”  O/C  ©2020


Lessons • 40” x 40”  O/C  ©2022

Table Manners

Table Manners • 36” x 46”  O/C  ©2019

The Roswell House

The Roswell House • 32” x 36”  O/C  ©2019

My Inspiration for the Dystopian Doll Houses

Worlds within worlds existed long before those suggested by Lewis Carroll or quantum physics. The history of the miniature stretches back to the ancients and its path tracks an irreducible line. In this vast and chaotic world we live in the miniature feeds our need for order. The doll house is a magical space composed of idealized interiors, a perfect little universe reflecting a better and more controllable representation of our world.

In this miniature Utopia everyone fulfills a storybook role, everyone has his or her place. In the doll’s house the story played out on the stage of a shrunken domestic interior is one of happiness, harmony and geniality. But inevitably something goes wrong, the playbook changes, the script is altered, the atmosphere darkens. Not unlike a Punch and Judy show, these dystopian doll houses become vehicles for grotesque comedy and offer a sideways look at contemporary society: children are abused and threatened; madams ply their trade; politicians plot and deceive; Barbie explores her wild side; a game of strip poker is rigged; someone shoots mommy. Now the doll’s house mirrors the space of our everyday existence and the doll inhabitants must assume the roles of their human counterpart

Dollhouses have a fascinating history that spans nearly four hundred years. Of special interest to me is the Stettheimer house, created by Carrie Stettheimer in 1916 through 1935, it has no inhabitants. But the miniature art works inside the doll house were made by many famous artists: Archipenko, Zorach, George Bellows, Gaston LaChaise – even a miniature version of Marcel Duchamp’s “Nude Descending a Staircase”. This inspired me to create tiny replicas of famous paintings for the walls of my doll houses; hopefully the viewer will recognize these works which include Blake, Botero, Magritte, Munch, Schiele, Picasso, Warhol and others.