The Golden Girl
In March of 2009, Barbie turned 50, and she doesn’t look a day over 18. The Barbie™ doll is an American cultural icon of female beauty, and she arouses emotional as well as sentimental attention from many people. According to statistics, 99% of 3 to 10 year old girls in the United States own at least one Barbie doll. Many people consider her to be an embodiment of the ultra thin female beauty ideal and there are many who refuse to let their daughters play with her. As the subject of my devotion as a child, I don’t remember thinking that I wanted to look like her, but I do remember role playing with her as she was the pilot of her own airplane or the captain of her own ship. For me, she embodied the idea that women could be anything they wanted to be.
I chose her yet again as the subject for my current body of work because she is still the subject of such controversy. The first series of painted pixilated images plays well into the distortion of her appearance and how she is perceived. The closer you get, the more distorted she becomes, but if you stand away, she becomes more clear.