05/20/2015 01:02 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Sex Doll Portraits Evoke A Future Where Humans Love Robots, Artist Says

Every artist has her muse. Stacy Leigh's muses just happen to be made of high-tech rubber.

In her photo series "Average Americans (Who Just Happen To Be Sex/Love Dolls)," Leigh dives deep into the uncanny valley and comes up with a lonely hypothesis: In the future, we will love robots.

"These are the early days of robotics," Leigh told The Huffington Post in an email. "The love dolls are the crude beginnings of what may someday be the norm."

Story Continues After Photos

Sex Doll Series by Stacy Leigh

The self-described "frustrated painter" said that she first thought of using love dolls as models after watching a segment about them on the HBO docu-series "Real Sex."

"I did some research on them and was led to a community of men who are into dolls one way or another," Leigh said.

From there it was a short creative leap to a future where humans have relationships with artificial humans.

"With social networking, smart phones and the growing anonymity of the Internet, there is a facet of society that is very lonely. Some of them turn to surrogates for relationships," Leigh said. "I realized the possibility that someday, artificial humans will be integrated into society."

Leigh has been photographing sex dolls for more than 10 years. She admitted it was pretty creepy to her at first.

"They had a strange effect on me. I was empathetic to them because they looked so real, but I also felt uncomfortable, like they were watching me. The uncanny feeling subsided and led to an empathy. I felt like I needed to show the dolls how they might be if integrated into society," Leigh said.

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