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Above: A set emulating blow-up dolls from the 250 Matryoshka exhibit in Belgium
I know, I know, you've seen the popular trend of these Russian Nesting Dolls on lots of blogs, but before you think you've seen them all, take a look. I defy you to find a larger collection than my own examples of Matryoshka Madness (especially since this post has been updated with part 2!)
Above: A traditional set of Russian Nesting Dolls
Russian nesting dolls have been an art form for centuries. No matter how you spell them, be it matryoshkas, matrioshka, matryoshkus or matreshkas, they seem to be making a big comeback in many forms. From the modern nod to technology by Russian design studio Art Lebedev to the $1200.00 custom series for a family of five, painted from a photo by illustrator Trisha Krauss.
above: Bit, byte, kilobyte, megabyte, gigabyte and terabyte take shape of Matryoshkas to make the right sequence in white, available from Art Lebedev
Above: Trisha Krauss will create a custom set based on a photo, available at Auto
In 2003, The Wurst Gallery had a fabulous exhibit of these nesting dolls painted by various contemporary and low brow artists, most (but not all) of which have since been sold. Here are the artists and their work from that show:
Above: The complete set by artist Trish Grantham
Another artist painted Matryoshka exhibit is the 2006 one from MAF (the Music Art Forum) in which 50 artists painted Matryoshka's which were auctioned off for charity.
here are a few of my favorites from that exhibit:
See all 50 sets here.
Several other contemporary artists have their own interpretations of the traditional Russian nesting dolls.
Take a look at some more of the Matryoshka Madness:
The Redspective online store often carries unique, one of kind, artist made nesting dolls but they sell out quickly. Now in stock are the following three sets:
Above: set by artist Roland Bruckner, 250,000 euros
Above: set by the Incubus Project, 250,000 euros
Above: set by artist Chin Chin, 250,000 euros
Above: One of my personal favorites by artist Marco Cibola
Above: the minimalist Pantone Matryoshkas by Yar Rassadin
Above: Three hand-painted sets by Russian artist Irina Troitskaya:
Artist Bryan Rawlings made a set of erotic life sized nesting dolls for Julian Murphy that are now the property of the Erotic Art Museum in Hollywood, California, where they are part of the permanent collection:
Above: Bryan Rawling's Erotic Matryoshka Sculptures
Even Swedish superstore Ikea sells a version; JUTANÄS by Maria Vinka
Above: Inspired by the Russian nesting dolls she collected as a child, Vinka wanted to create a modern, multi-ethnic version. Instead of identical nesting Russian dolls, she made a doll for each continent. A native Lapp, Vinka made the doll for Europe a Lapp as well. The dolls are made in Russia according to traditional methods, and each one is handpainted with a unique facial expression. Available at IKEA.
Russian Nesting Doll imagery is popping up everywhere on home decor from pillows by Thomas Paul to coin purses at Fred Flare.
Thomas Paul Pillows shown above from 2Modern
above pillows (which may no longer be available) from Urban Outfitters
The above Matroyshka cards are available at Poketo.
plates and coin purses from Fred Flare
Matryoshka shirts available here.
Both the Sterling silver 3D charm and 14k yellow gold charm available here.
Bedspread from Urban Outfitters
Even the Pupa cosmetics of Italy has a line called Puposka which is collection of make-up kits perfumes,and containers in white, red or blue that are Russian nesting dolls:
Need Matryoshkas that stick?
Buy the above vinyl wall stickers here.
or Buy the little stickers here.
And here are just a few of the wonderful Matryoshka items available on etsy (I'm sorry I can't show them all):
coasters: Chrome ID tag for zippers or keychains:
Car trash/litter bag: Matryoshka handbag:
Russian Doll adjustable ring: Decoupaged ring:
Matryoshka cupcake toppers: Baby Bib and Burp Cloth:
Lindt even makes Chocolate Matryoshkas:
But even better are Viktoria Richards Red Collection: three variations of chocolate nesting dolls.
Individually foil wrapped:
A single 4 inch solid chocolate doll:
and miniature boxed chocolate Martyoshkas:
buy them here.
Wanna make some yourself?
You can be creative with blank dolls found here:
Or, if you feel you're not that creative, for only $39.00, you can easily DIY these traditional looking Russian Nesting Dolls (if you can paint within the lines), that comes with paint and brush:
Now, if you're looking for traditional Russian nesting dolls in the form of animals, pop culture icons like the Simpsons nesting dolls or South Park nesting dolls (yes, they make them), celebrity nesting dolls like Elvis or Madonna, the following stores carry all these and more:
And some relevant links for you:
How Matryoshkas are made.
Buy Russian Doll Books, Movies, Calendars, Blank Sets and more here
Check out Matroyoshka Madness Part 2, with electronic gadgets and more.