Remember Time Travel Tuesdays? When I’d find old gems to share on this blog? I haven’t done it in a while, but recently spotted portraits of old ventriloquist dummies on Junk Culture. They are apart of the book Talking Heads: The Vent Haven Portraits by Matthew Rolston. He has built his career entertainment photography. Not just entertainment, but entertainment. Think Taylor Swift, Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga, and more.
As you can imagine, being in that industry means a lot of your work is micromanaged. Matthew needed another creative outlet. When he saw a NY Times article on the Vent Haven Museum’s collection of ventriloquist dolls, he felt a connection to them.
If you hate the uncanny valley, you probably won’t like these dummies. But, I think they are amazing. I’ve never really examined them up close, but Matthew’s portraits are clear as day. You can see all of the details and construction. The surface design is often garish, a stylized representation of a human. They provide a look into history, when the art of ventriloquism was popular. (h/t Junk Culture and Slate)