Altered Barbie Newbie
Oddly, even though I have always been drawn the the altered Barbie scene since I first became aware of it in the '90s, it did not occur to me to use Barbie as a subject in my artwork until recently. Sometime last winter, I was thumbing through some old National Geographics and stumbled upon some hilariously dated advertisements. The photos were theatrically posed with the intent of depicting an adventurous, fun-loving yet privileged lifestyles. I knew immediately that I had to recreate these ads and photos on canvas, and who better but Barbie and friends could give the paintings that absurd edge for which I was searching.
I am glad that there is an audience for this genre. Barbie is representative of all that is said and unsaid about pop culture. She is the plastic symbol of American values and a capitalistic economy, continually changing to meet the pulse of the accepted status quo. Is she a icon worthy of scholarly sociological study? Certainly. But to me, Barbie is at her best when we can use her to laugh at ourselves.