Noel Cruz is one of the most highly acclaimed among OOAK doll repaint artists on the scene. A Filipino-American based in Anaheim, California, Cruz’s reputation rests upon his talent for fashioning repainted dolls that bear amazing likeness to their subjects. His specialty is character and celebrity dolls, dolls produced by manufacturers like Tonner and Franklin Mint that Cruz strips of their original paint and repaints with infinite care – and with stunning results. His creations are much sought after, and some have sold for more than $2,000 via his EBay store.
The Elizabeth Taylor doll shown above depicts her as Angela Vickers, the character she portrayed in A Place in the Sun (1951). Cruz's transformation of the original factory doll is dramatic. The original bears some passing resemblance to the actress, but is essentially lifeless, where Cruz's makeover is uncannily lifelike.
Below, Cruz at work refashioning another rendition of Elizabeth Taylor. The finished doll will represent the actress at a later phase in her career, as Maggie Pollitt in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958).
Noel Cruz's Gone with the Wind (1939) makeover
Both Gable as Rhett and Vivian Leigh as Scarlett were repainted
The dolls shown above and those shown below demonstrably illustrate Cruz's intention with each of his recreations to realize "a sense of both aesthetics and likeness."
Joan Crawford in two looks from Mildred Pierce (1945)
Grace Kelly in Rear Window (1954)
Below, Noel Cruz in his workshop with his rendition of Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961).
Cruz, who is also a portrait artist, has said that his interest in repainting character and celebrity dolls was piqued when his wife developed a fascination with celebrity dolls. His work has been covered in print, online and on camera. Cruz is prolific, and his active Facebook page reports on his latest projects and, when an upcoming auction date has been set, links to his EBay store.
|Repaint/restyling of a Princess Diana factory doll|