In the 1970s, when computers were beginning their ascent into world domination, Stacy Leigh was born. In her earliest years she was an artist. She painted and made clothes for her dolls. One birthday, she was gifted a camera by her Mother, that would quickly show signs of things to come. Stacy would set up her Barbie dolls in scenes she created from her meager surroundings. Never putting down the paintbrush or a camera, when her teen years hit, she began to photograph her friends too. That would continue throughout her young life. After a multitude of careers, Stacy's last job as a stock broker would bring her stint in corporate America to a close. It was there that she met her beloved husband, Kris. He implored her to quit Wall Street and get back to painting and creating art, which she loved so much. More than a decade later, she would again pick up a paintbrush, only to become frustrated.
In 2005, remembering about a posable, realistic, life size love doll she saw on an HBO segment many years earlier, she began to research them as a sitting model for her paintings. "The more I delved into researching a doll to purchase, the more I realized that these dolls meant more to some people than mere sexual objects. I wanted to show the dolls the way the men who loved them saw them. I wanted to humanize the dolls. Because as far as I can tell, more people are feeling the pinch of technology and turning to surrogate relationships. Love dolls are the crude beginnings of robots, and something that looks so alive can trick the mind. Add artificial intelligence... and you see where I'm going with this", said Stacy.
One year after the arrival of the first doll, Stacy began working on a series with them called, Average Americans. When asked why she creates sets, and tells stories with sex dolls, she replied, "I think that there is something that happens when you see a hyper realistic, life size doll... in person or in a photo, there is a feeling. Something that looks so alive, yet it is so still. It's uncomfortable. You might feel repulsed and empathetic at the same time. But I think once you put aside the fact that they are sex toys, you tend to feel an odd human connection. Maybe for some it's just too creepy... I don't know. But I do know that with technology taking over, there are people who are very lonely. And that empathy we eventually feel for an object that so closely resembles humanity, can easily transform into a relationship."
In addition to adding to the series Average Americans, and finalizing the series 2 Weeks and 37 Hours, Stacy is working on a third series Hers. The most recent series Hers, touches on the growing relationship between a woman and her sex doll. The tension and awkward moments human beings encounter with one another in a relationship, is prevalent between a Person and a doll in this newest series. The catch is that both subjects in the series are, in fact love dolls.
Stacy's work with both People and love dolls can be seen in publications from all corners of the globe. From fashion magazines to university text books and select group art shows, her work has been most heavily circulated throughout internet media sources and online publications. Stacy spends time between photography, painting and set building. Her studio is located in New York City.
dolls courtesy of: