Artist Noel Cruz transforms mass-produced celebrity and character dolls into life-like miniatures. Using these figures as a base, he employs intricate face contouring–including shading and highlights–to add depth to these figures. After he's completed the makeovers, Cruz places the “before” and “after” pictures side-by-side. The results are incredible, and thanks to his precise application and attention to detail, they now bear an uncanny resemblance to their real-life counterparts.
Cruz sees his repainting as a new form of pop art. The doll's face is treated as a three-dimensional canvas (rather than a toy), with the added challenge of painting with a very small surface area. “Since dolls are basically miniature pieces,” Cruz explains, “brush strokes and shading have to be very controlled.” In addition to the acrylic pigment, he also restyles the doll's hair. This often involves trimming or setting tiny curlers to add volume into the wigs.
Cruz has chosen to sell his work through eBay, opting for an auction format. He also accepts commissioned work of celebrity dolls.