Beautiful, serene-looking dolls posed amidst dark, sometimes macabre and violent backgrounds are the subjects of Japanese artist Kazuki Takamatsu's series of paintings, "Because I'm a Doll".
Takamatsu mixes both traditional and modern techniques to create his signature "depth map style" paintings. Depth maps are computer-generated images that show the distance of the surfaces of an object or scene from a viewpoint. These images are used in creating 3D animations and computer graphics. However, instead of using a computer, Takamatsu uses gouache to achieve this effect. He painstakingly paints layers of semi-transparent gouache to create the illusion of depth. The monochrome color scheme adds to the evocative atmosphere of his creations.
His usual subjects are innocent, melancholy young girls as either victims or perpetrators of violence, but for this series, a lot of his subjects are female ball-jointed dolls. I'm not sure why he used dolls this time. Perhaps to emphasize fragility? Or maybe it's a criticism on the expectations placed on girls?
Below are some of my favorites from his series.
Photo credits: Kazuki Takamatsu's Facebook Profile