Saturday, January 24, 2009

Louis XIV Ken repaint showcases talent of Viktoriya Hawthorne


When the movie "300" came out last year, I posted an article about a OOAK doll dressed as Leonidas as depicted in the film that came up for sale on Ebay. This week I noticed a very detailed Ken doll repaint dressed as King Louis XIV that appeared in the current batch of auctions. When I checked out the site of the vendor I discovered that this doll is another OOAK produced by the same artist as the Leonidas doll I featured last year. A further exploration of her website, http://www.divine-dolls-creation.com/, revealed that the artist, Viktoriya Hawthorne, has actually produced a number of very detailed Ken and Barbie repaints - many costumed as historical personalities.

Viktoriya uses various versions of Ken or Barbie as palettes for her artistic expression. She totally removes all original factory paint then repaints the figures with artist acrylics and sealers. If a complex historical hairstyle cannot be achieved with the existing coiffure, she also reroots the hair, trims, perms, and applies finishing touches that may include hand-applied beads or braided fibers.

Originally a science teacher employed by various schools and colleges in Camarillo, California, Viktoriya now enjoys creating OOAK dolls full time.

As I browsed her gallery I was particularly struck by the detail and design elements exhibited by her Egyptian-themed dolls. They spanned thousands of years of pharaonic history from the first recognized pharaoh, Menes to the the most famous warrior pharaoh, Thutmose III, to the ill-fated Macedonian temptress, Cleopatra with various other monarchs like Khufu, the pyrmaid builder, Tut, the boy king, and Nefertiti, wife of one of the world's first monotheists, Akhenaten, sprinkled in between.

Of course I was thrilled to see her interpretation of my favorite conqueror, Alexander the Great, decked out in finery as depicted in Oliver Stone's film, Alexander. I have an Alexander the Great 12" "action" figure released by Dragon in Dreams a few years ago but his costume is not nearly as elaborate as the one created by Viktoriya. Whoever ended up with this imaginative portrait is a very fortunate collector!

Viktoriya and I seem to have the same taste in films and the actors who have portrayed historical heroes including Gerard Butler. I see she has designed an Attila costumed in royal Hunnic wedding attire similar to the garment worn by Gerard Butler in the miniseries Attila. This miniseries, although not warmly received by the critics is still one of my all time favorites along with "Helen of Troy", "Rome", and "The Tudors". It was my first encounter with Gerard Butler and he quickly rose to the top of my epic film heroes list! Although he gained star status with his portrayal of the Phantom of the Opera, I have not yet seen that performance. However, I have thoroughly enjoyed his work in "Timeline", "Beowulf and Grendel", and "300".

She also has Gerard Butler-inspired versions of Andre Marek from the film "Timeline", Beowulf, and the Phantom of the Opera. Again, I have a 12" figure of Gerard Butler as Andre Marek from "Timeline" that I was able to obtain from Dragon in Dreams a couple of years ago, but her version of Marek is also very detailed.

If you are not familiar with Gerard Butler, watch the following well done YouTube video tribute to his performance in "Timeline"

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