Is it really so strange that there is not only a Rock Star Barbie, but a whole gang of Barbie ‘Rockers’? Probably not. In fact, I think it is appropriate; because if Barbie can be anything she wants to be, why not be a Rocker, I ask yez? I’m actually quite surprised that it took Mattel this long to figure out that Barbie wants to Rock, Bitches! This incarnation of Rock Star Barbie (official name Careers Barbie Rock Star Doll) — which comes with a couple of thoroughly hideous outfits and a purple guitar — sells for $24.49 at Target, but I’ve seen others selling online for less. Rock on, Barbie!
The Goldberg Company (those responsible for the original 1978 Dolly Parton doll) fashioned an impressive set of four Divine character dolls in 1984. While the full line was on shelves in time for Christmas, most never made it under the tree. Most units were left unsold, even after being discounted as much as 90%. Goldberg was banking on Divine’s disco career creating the necessary interest to sustain the line, but it was an appeal that did not translate in the toy department.
It appeared that American girls under 12 were not ready for this kind of Barbie, which is unfortunate given Goldberg’s future plans to add six more figures to the line.
Upcoming fictionalized Divine characters included Astronaut Divine, Party Girl Divine, Divine as Shirley Temple, President Divine, Waitress Divine (Dawn Davenport) and Surf’s Up Divine.
Photographed as Part of the Lost Merchandise of the Dreamlanders Exhibit at La MaMa Galleria in NYC.
I woke up Sunday morning to find a FaceBook message from my friend Michael containing an image in which he had Photoshopped my face onto the head of Barbie with flowing Pink Hair. As you can see, it is pretty sweet. I immediately posted it on Instagram (@gailpink61), where it has currently accrued more Likes than any other image I’ve yet posted.
Here is the original image. The resemblance is, of course, uncanny. Especially the slender, giraffe-like neck!
He also made one where he gave me awesome bangs.
From Hyper Allergic:
Leave it to Mattel, the maker of the Barbie doll, to fulfill Andy Warhol’s famous wish to be plastic.
According to InStyle, the children’s toy company has collaborated with the Andy Warhol Foundation to produce a Barbie doll that has all of Andy’s signature traits, from the white wig and sunglasses to the leather jacket and black-and-white striped shirt. It’s Warhol as we know him — with the addition of impossibly long legs, a teeny tiny waist, a disproportionately large bust, and thick, permanent eyeliner.
Warhol was actually fascinated by Barbies. He painted one the year before he died, Barbie, Portrait of BillyBoy (1986), which was inspired by a young jewelry designer and muse who owned tens of thousands of Barbies. He also painted figurative ones — women like Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy who are still widely known for their physical images, outfits, and accessories.
So, what does it mean that Warhol has taken the form of a plastic doll that’s hollow through and through? It’s tempting to philosophize about the deeper connection between a toy that’s come to represent superficiality and an artist who claimed to be a “deeply superficial” person (despite the complex biographies his life has inspired).
But it’s best not to think too hard about it. The doll (and the “lifestyle collection” that goes along with it) is just the latest in a string of consumer items — from graphic tees to designer purses — that capitalize on the selling power of Warhol’s iconic likeness and art … or, as Ron Robinson, whose stores in Malibu and Los Angeles are the sole brick-and-mortar-carriers of the Warhol Barbie, told Women’s Wear Daily, it’s perfect for “the hip, cool person who just wants something really unique.” Just in time for Christmas!a teeny tiny waist
One of the most fun and unique exhibits I visited during last week’s Thursday night art crawl was Pamela Bennett Ader’s, Legal Vows, which I stumbled upon at Phoenix Gallery while running between shows at Emmanuel Fremin and Joseph Gross (fortunately, all of these galleries happen to be in the same building).
What I caught my attention when I walked by the gallery were little vitrines lining the walls, with Barbie and Ken Doll Couples in them! In celebration of the Supreme Court’s decision for the legalization of same sex marriages, Ader created these mixed media vignettes of same sex couples on their wedding days, using Barbie and Ken dolls that she bought on eBay. “With or without the permission of Mattel,” she offers, “my Barbies and Kens are a happy and legal lot!”
This one reminds me of my friends David and Hakim, who got married over Easter weekend this year. When I tagged them both in a FaceBook post of the above photo, Hakim commented “We need to have this in our house!” I can imagine many couples might want to own one of Ader’s works to celebrate their happy unions!
In the exhibition’s press release, Ader reveals her motivation behind the artworks. “This body of work is in celebration of same-sex marriages. I believe in love and I believe in marriage. I also must confess to have had no feeling about the need for these legal marriages until 9/11. Compounding the horror of the day, I was horrified when I learned that many couples, some of which were life partners, were denied any benefits as surviving mates. In some cases, unknowing or unfeeling parents did not even include these loved ones in funeral arrangements not to mention the many who were evicted from their homes and questioned about possessions.” You can see there is deeply felt compassion behind this project, which makes it even cooler.
Legals Vows is only up for a few weeks, so don’t miss it!
Pamela Bennett Ader’s Legal Vows will be on Exhibit Through November 28th at Phoenix Gallery, Located at 548 West 28th Street, Suite 528, In the Chelsea Gallery District.
This handsome likeness of Lord Darth Vader is proudly displayed alongside a Tie Fighter and the back end of a Tauntaun in this photo that I snapped at the Museum of the Moving Image on a recent visit. Note that Vader is not merely an action figure in this case, but an official doll, suitable for cavorting with Barbie should she grow bored with Ken and wish to make a move to the Dark Side.