the doll's house

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2 years ago

The mystery behind a gloomy balcony full of dolls' heads in downtown Caracas

In the Venezuelan capital, amidst the hustle and bustle of the city and the tall buildings, the facade of a house that looks like something out of a horror story imposes itself.

In the center of Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, there is a gloomy and eccentric place that demands the gaze of locals and strangers alike, recreating an image that looks like something out of a horror movie. The site may go unnoticed for those who walk at the fast pace imposed by the city and do not have time to look up.

However, those who decide to take a break and observe the details that dress the concrete of the city, stop with astonishment and intrigue when they see a balcony full of dolls' heads that seem to follow the steps of everything that happens around them and that when it rains, release black tears formed by the polluting soot of the cars.

The balcony is on the highest part of a three-story house, between two large buildings in the Santa Rosalía parish of Caracas. Those who know the place usually give as a reference the so-called El Muerto corner, although its real location is in the middle of East 12th Avenue, between Fuerzas Armadas and Sur 5.

Jonathan, who is also a plastic artist and teacher, says that the work -created more than 15 years ago- was inspired by the friendship that the González family started with Mr. Jesús Poleo, a driver from Caracas who has a truck decorated with dolls.

"The doll piece took three years," he says, explaining that the work was created with "a lot of patience," placing "one by one" the striking heads that now hang in front of the house.

The recycled art museum

Beyond the striking and "terrifying" balcony for some passers-by, there is the art museum created by the González family, which features a variety of works inspired by different artistic currents.

"There are criticisms for and against, especially from people who don't know that what we really did was an art installation on the balcony," says Jonathan about the work initiated by his father, an admirer of Venezuelan artist Armando Reverón.

Jonathan explains that most of the works they do are made with recycled materials. "We are based on garbage, on giving importance to recycling, what for some is garbage for others can serve as support material or to make a work, that is why most of the works in the house are made with waste and garbage things."

The idea of turning the house into a museum, he adds, began with his grandfather, an artisan who also worked as a chef at the Israeli embassy in Caracas. "It was my grandfather who started it all, he made art and inspired us, now that we are all dedicated to this, we have decided to turn the house into an art museum."

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Residents and passers-by in the Santa Rosalía parish, a popular residential and commercial area in downtown Caracas, point out that the "doll's house" has become a landmark that attracts curious onlookers and photographers. They also comment that it was once a source of conflict, when some residents tried to collect signatures to force the Gonzalez family to remove the work.

Eliander Giménez, a resident of the area, notes that when he first saw the balcony he was shocked. "I thought they were babies riding on the balcony, I got scared, I felt fear for them, until I realized they were dolls. By that time, they were just filling the balcony and I thought it was quite eccentric."

Mrs. Carolina Martínez, who passes in front of the house every day to go to work, comments that although the work seems frightening and some people even call it "satanic" or related to witchcraft, it is a reliable representation of the damage caused by pollution and has become part of the Caracas identity.

"I love it, although it is a little scary, it seems to me that it shows us how the city pollutes us. The dolls are full of soot from the cars, the dirt of the city and when it rains they shed black tears, as if they were in pain from so much pollution," comments Martínez.

Neighbors in the area comment that since the covid-19 pandemic began, the Gonzalez family has decided to keep access to their house-museum closed, and in the same way they have limited themselves to giving interviews.

"It is very risky for them, that with the pandemic they are letting in any stranger. I guess that's why they decided not to give any more interviews. There are also media that do not tell the truth and only say that they are terrorizing people", comments Mrs. Nelly Acosta.

She adds that the versions of terror are spread especially by "annoying neighbors". "It seems that they have nothing to do and they go around saying that they have a black magic center, of those weird things. The Gonzalez family is an ordinary family, they are bohemian, very good people".

In the community there is also a myth about the balcony, adds Nelly. "People also make up horror stories and say that the house is inhabited by a deformed, fat, hunchbacked old man, who comes out at midnight to steal the girls' dolls while they sleep." The mystery, for the moment, is only in the heads of pedestrians and neighbors on the block.

I hope you liked this note that I brought from a trip I made through caracas since I knew this house for a long time and I hope you like the truck I might bring it for another article.

here pandoru1997 say good bye until a next note

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Oh that's kinda crazy and creepy

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