The Fine Art of Barbie

by | January 24, 2012
filed under Feminism, Pop Culture

Barbie Man Ray

Barbie a la Man Ray

“Barbie, Ma Muse”, a 2009 site by French artist Jocelyne Grivaud has been making the rounds of blogs recently (I came across it on Flavorwire). Grivaud’s project features Barbie incorporated into famous works of art from Andy Warhol’s Marilyn to the Mona Lisa.

Grivaud intended the project as a tribute to Barbie, saying:

One day, the idea of extending the happy part of my childhood through pictures I love took shape. Barbie is often criticized for being too blonde, too superficial, too skinny,  too “ideal marketing”, too “this” and too “that”…. My aim was to adjust this so famous profile to different emblematic representations.

But I thought it was also an interesting way to show changing beauty ideals through history. The proportions of the real woman in “Le Violon D’Ingres” (left) strongly contrast with the tiny-waisted Barbie doll.

So does the project redeem the Barbie doll, or reinforce the “toos” Grivaud cites? I’m not sure but I thought it was interesting to look at.

Check out Grivaud’s gallery here (warning – nudes included and the recreation of a Guy Bourdin photo depicts violence against women) and let me know what your reaction is.



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