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Shain Erin’s Morbid Dolls

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Shain Erin is a Neo-Mythic artifact artist whose interests lie in sculpture, painting and digital media. Boasting a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, Erin explores his passion for world art and mythology. Over the years he has been examining a personal mythology that would allow him to use his own ideas and creations, while at the same time he could honor and reference some of the actual world art traditions. His exploration guided him toward fashioning a line of morbid dolls. These dolls, influenced by such figures as kachina, bochia, nkisi, namchi and shadow puppets, hold a special place in his heart, and each doll has a story, a mystery, a soul, if you will. In these offerings there is a collaboration between Erin and whichever spirit talks to him during the creative process. On Erin’s blog website you will find dolls with many faces, appendages and grotesque features. They are usually dressed in worn fabrics adorned with delicate lace. It is in contrast to their misshapen faces. His inspiration is drawn from antique wax medical models and specimens of genetic anomalies, disfigurements and diseases. Sad and discarded, these dolls represent one of our base human fears, things which are not like us, that deviate from the norm, things which are different. Born from this fear is fascination. Perhaps we are not so dissimilar from these creations than we wish to think.

I’m an obsessive artist (since birth) working primarily in sculpture, painting and digital media. I have a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and have shown work (mostly in San Francisco and Denver) but mostly I’ve kept to myself artistically, exploring my obsessions and refining my vision and methods.

I’ve always been fascinated with world art and mythology and for about the last ten years I’ve been concentrating on exploring and defining a personal mythology and “history” while honoring and referencing existing world art traditions. . For that reason I refer to my work as Neo-Mythic and see myself as a creator of artifacts that never were.

For the last several years I’ve been preoccupied with dolls: I see them as a long under appreciated art form with virtually unlimited expressive possibilities. I’m inspired by traditional world art figures (kachina, bochia, nkisi, namchi, shadow puppets, etc.) while working to push the boundaries of what a “doll” is as far as my imagination and skills will take it.

These are not comforting toys; they can be challenging and defiant, disturbing and enchanting, irrational and frightening, beautiful and sad. They have stories they yearn to tell, and they hold secrets they will never give up. I like to think of dolls as spirit vessels and the making of a doll a kind of offering or invitation. It’s always a collaboration between me and whatever spirit comes forward.

Lately I’ve felt it is time to come out of my shell and start finding an audience for my work, so here I am. I hope you will find something to connect with here –that touches you in some way, and I would love to hear what you think.

Many of my works are available for purchase at my online Etsy Shop
and my official website is

Thanks so much for stopping by


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Posted by on Wednesday, December 26th, 2012. Filed under Headline, Images, Lifestyle. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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