TamTam Books News

Monday, August 30, 2004:

I can’t strongly recommend enough the biography "The Secret Life of The Lonely Doll: The Search for Dare Wright" by Jean Nathan. Wright’s first book "The Lonely Doll" (1957) probably has two separate type of readers. One it is for little girls who want a story that they can identify with and second, for people like me who likes their art to be dark, (semi) sexual and perverse. "The Lonely Doll" serves both audiences.

"The Lonely Doll" is a series of Black & White photographs with minimal text telling the story of a little girl (doll) who is extremely lonely, who one day meets Little Bear and Mr. Bear. They befriend her and sort of make her part of the family. One day Mr. Bear decides to go out and told the kids to behave themselves. Like all naturally good kids they go into the grown-ups closet and start having a dress-up party. Mr. Bear shows up and gets stern over the mess they made. He eventually spanks the doll (with the underwear showing) and what is worst the Doll becomes fearful that Mr. Bear will take Little Bear away. But of course that is not the case, and Mr. Bear reinstates that their relationship will last forever and forever. Is this a blessing or curse?

Nathan’s biography goes into the very private and inner world of Dare Wright, who had an obsessive relationship with her Mother and Brother. The Mother Edie (the Doll’s name in the book is Edith) was a portrait painter for the upper crest in Cleveland and London. A woman who was totally absorbing into her own private world where her daughter was basically an object that she owned. The Brother on the other hand was discarded by the Mom at an early age and came back to her in his 20’s as a resentful Son. But on the other hand he adored his sister that some say was ‘unnatural.’

With radically close ties to her Brother and Mom, Wright became a model and then fashion photographer. She eventually did a series of self-portraits that in a sense reminds one of Cindy Sherman. Highly theatrical as well with undercurrents of sexuality, these photographs are superb. All three major subjects in this bio were beautiful or if I may put it simply – hot.

For those who are obsessed with ‘Outside’ art, they should run to their nearest bookstore and get this biography. I am very happy now to have Dare Wright (isn’t her name great?) part of my iconic heroes collection. Also pick up Wright’s masterpiece "The Lonely Doll."

Tosh // 8:49 AM

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