Vincenzina Care, a 27-year-old artist from Toronto, Canada, has captivated people with her hyperrealistic dolls made from polymer clay. Her journey into doll-making began at the age of seven when her mother gifted her a doll, only for it to break later. To ease her heartbreak, Vincenzina decided to craft her own replacement, marking the start of her unique artistic pursuit.
These intricately detailed dolls, which often feature facial differences and health conditions, challenge the conventional representation of perfection in toys. Vincenzina meticulously sculpts each doll by hand, using photos of herself as a baby and images from friends and family as references. She either sells them as one-of-a-kind creations or produces them in vinyl for a wider audience.
The fabrication process varies, with miniature dolls taking just a few months to complete, while larger ones might span up to three years, depending on size and complexity. Vincenzina’s goal is to represent diverse health conditions, including Down’s syndrome, dwarfism, and cranio-facial duplication, shedding light on conditions often overlooked or stigmatized.
“I love showing expressions that people can relate to in dolls with different conditions and putting the personality back into the reality of all conditions that are usually dehumanized because they are different,” says Vincenzina.
During the pandemic, Vincenzina lost her job but transformed her craft into a full-time career. She also works part-time in administration and teaches art to children. The doll-making process, described as “extremely relaxing” and “therapeutic,” has become a means of expressing her creativity.
Vincenzina showcases her dolls on TikTok, where one post featuring a doll with cranio-facial duplication garnered over 106 million views. Despite her explanations that these are dolls, some viewers still believe they are real babies. While most comments are positive, Vincenzina acknowledges that changing societal perceptions of differences can be challenging.
Her family and friends are supportive, with her mother contributing by knitting and crocheting outfits for the dolls, and her father helping create props to display them. Through her art, Vincenzina aims to celebrate the uniqueness of every life and challenge preconceived notions surrounding health conditions.