Rebecca Rhees

Mannequin Misfit No. 9
van dyke print
14 x 11 in.

In the eerie basement of a mannequin shop, hundreds of mannequins are missing pieces and parts, waiting for repair.  There is a sense of sadness among them; an ache over the years that continue to pass as they remain in disrepair. The contradiction between their disabled condition and their humanistic expressions summons a symathetic connectedness to these forgotten misfits.

The historical context of the van dyke print offers the opportunity to use technique as an expressive means to convey the history and nostalgic nature of the mannequins. The individualistic quality of the van dyke process is also appropriate to capture the imperfection and personal disrepair of each misfit. A van dyke print is made by hand applying a light sensitive solution upon a paper surface. The process allows for evidence of the artist’s hand, gesture, and nuance; creating a print that is an indivual, original image. Combining the inherent qualities of early photographic techniques to speak metaphorically about the subjects I am drawn to, is an important element in my work.

© Rebecca Rhees