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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Barbie - The Icon Reborn

Margaux Lange’s recent jewelry collection features repurposed dolls, specifically Barbie. She addresses (some would say celebrates) our relationship with one of pop culture’s most prominent icons. The infamous anatomically unrealistic proportions of the much chastised doll is legend. Over time Matel’s depiction of the modern woman in the form of this doll has been accused of contributing to bulimia, anorexia nervosa, teen suicide, low self image and many other complaints of the modern teenage girl. One might argue that today’s Barbie in a more modern role of “career woman” is still required to return home to Barbie’s designer kitchen. Hmmm...

Artist Hans Bellmer (1902-1975) photographed brutally dismembered, recombined and violently sexualized manikins. He explained his misogynistic approach by saying his work was meant to challenge the fascist ideal Hitler was promoting at that time. Lange also dismantles dolls but to an entirely different affect. Her work both mocks and celebrates those overly pert breasts and impossibly perfect lips. Her treatment of the doll and its overtly idealized form confuses our idea of the fetish while challenging societies seemingly endless need for and display of trophies.

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Hans Belmer Photography

1 comment:

  1. I think both artists are a good candidate for therapy. :)