Jean-Francois Bouchard Brings Portraits of Sex Toys to Sleepless Night
With names like Britney and Gabrielle, he explains, the dolls belong to men who swear their silicone companions have distinct personalities and voices and, in several cases, their own Twitter accounts. Some of the owners even marry their dolls and take them on honeymoons.
Jean-François Bouchard's, striking portraits of these dolls will be on display at the Shore Club in an exhibit titled "Still Life," this Saturday as part of Sleepless Night Miami Beach.
Cultist reached Bouchard in Montreal where he talked about some of the doll's owners preferring them to "organic" women and how these sex toys---costing up to $6,500---are even given real pubic hair to enhance their authenticity.
Jean-Francois Bouchard: I travel a lot to discover all sorts of subcultures and immerse myself in their communities. In this specific case I discovered the dolls in a porn convention and realized that some buyers of the dolls were fans and that their relationship with the dolls went beyond mere sex toys. I later found forums and vibrant communities online dedicated to the dolls and their roles in the lives of their owners.
How long have you been working on this series and do you photograph the dolls in your studio or in the owner's homes?
I set-up a studio at the company manufacturing plant in California for a few days. I met with the craftsmen who create the dolls. They are all extremely talented professionals, albeit very specialized!
Do these men describe having serious "relationships" with these dolls? Do they name them and invent personalities for them, shop for their clothes?
Not all owners of dolls have emotional relationships with them. But, to the men who do, the dolls fill the role of a spouse. They give them names, they eat with them, buy them clothes, etc. Some owners have multiple dolls and create everyday life "scenes" with them.