Tag Archives: dolls

Pink Thing of The Day: Andy Warhol Barbie with Pink Fur Stole

andy warhol barbie photo
Photo By Gail

In March of 2019, I attended a fun event-thing called the Barbie 60th Anniversary Pop-Up Experience, which was just insane. Imagine being wedged into a crowded labyrinth of bright lights, neon colors, and every type of Barbie-branded doll in the universe, including Gender-Nonconforming Barbie and Dad-Bod Ken. Now, add little kids with their parents, and millennial Instagram-whores, and you’re got an idea of the scenario that I consider myself lucky to have survived with my sanity intact. Still: super fun!

While I saw literally hundreds of Barbies that day, the one that I will surely never forget is this Pink Mink Stole-draped plastic goddess known as the Andy Warhol Barbie. Here’s why: this Barbie (the third such doll produced in collaboration with The Andy Warhol Foundation) is the definitive celebration of Warhol, drawing inspiration from the original Warhol Barbie portrait created by the artist in 1986. Barbie’s strapless gown features a sweetheart neckline and an overall print of the Warhol Barbie Portrait (you can see a few details of Barbie’s face on the dress if you look closely at the above photo). Beyond the fabulous Pink faux fur stole with blue lining, the doll’s accessories also include blue pumps accented with glitter inspired by Warhol’s technique of “diamond dust” crushed glass on canvas, earrings, necklace, ring and doll stand. Rad.

andy warhol barbie backdrop photo by gail worley

Sadly I could not capture details of the glittery shoes, as Andy Warhol Barbie was encased in a vitrine, to protect her from molestation.  The statement to the left of Barbie’s face in the above photo reads as follows:

Andy Warhol made his mark by creating images of American icons. Barbie was added to the list when Warhol painted her in 1986. The first Barbie portrait was reportedly inspired by Warhol’s muse, Billy Boy, a jewelry designer and member of new York downtown scene in the 1980s, who owned a vast collection of Barbie dolls.

barbie neon sign photo by gail worley

Yes, It Exists: Divine Fashion Dolls

Divine Dolls Gold Outfit
All Photos By Gail

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.

Divine Dolls Full Set

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.

Divine Doll In Pacakging

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.

Divine Dolls

Photographed as Part of the Lost Merchandise of the Dreamlanders Exhibit at La MaMa Galleria in NYC.

Pamela Bennett Ader, Legal Vows at Phoenix Gallery

Legal Vows
All Photos By Gail

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).

Installation View

White and Black Barbie

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!”

David and Hakim

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!

Two Barbie's

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.

Two Kens

Legals Vows is only up for a few weeks, so don’t miss it!

Two Barbies

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.

Two Kens

Legal Vows at Phoenix Gallery

My Little Pony Toy Designer Gayle Middleton Creates new Line of Undead Monster Babies

Midnight Mori
I Am Such a Sucker for a Skull with a Bow

I can’t tell you how many recovering Goths I know that also have an insane obsession Hello Kitty or Uglydolls. It’s weird how those two things sort of end up going together: Goths with a Cuteness Fixation. If you can relate to that, I’ve got your cuteness fix right here.

Gayle Middleton, the designer who did the revamp of My Little Pony (and other popular toys) a while back has a dark side of her own which has led her to create a series of plush toys she calls Vamplets. They are pretty sweet.

Gayle is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to fund a second run of all of these crazy cute little vampire and monster baby plushies, which sold out of their first runs almost immediately. I think you can see why.

Lily Rose Shadowlyn
The Cuteness

There’s way more to the story that we don’t have time to go into right now, so please check out the Kickstarter page, which features a super fun video staring Gayle, at This Link and make a pledge! There are some very cool and wildly collectable plush gifts available for pledges as low at $35. This campaign expires on April 11th so please help her reach her goal and get some bitchen swag in exchange. Good luck with the campaign, Gayle!

Pink Thing of The Day: I Dream of Jeannie Barbie Doll

I Dream of Jeanie Barbie Dol
Image Source

Being old enough to have watched the TV sitcom, I Dream of Jeannie in its first run, I certainly would have been overjoyed to have owned a Barbie Doll as cool as this one, based on the character played by the lovely Barbara Eden. Designed by Robert Best and release in November of 2010 (on Mattel’s Pink Label®!) the doll originally sold for $34.95. Not surprisingly, it is no longer available from Mattel, so good luck finding this great doll on eBay or collector’s sites.

Byung-Kyu Do, Childhood Memories at Emmanuel Fremin Gallery

Cupie Dolls Childhood Memories By Do Byung Kyu
All Photos By Gail

Dolls: they can be creepy and they can be cool, depending on your perspective. For Korean-born artist Byung-Kyu Do Dolls are his medium of choice. There is no denying that dolls do conjure varying images and experiences from my youth, so I could relate to the theme of Do’s latest exhibit, Childhood Memories, up now at Emmanuel Fremin Gallery. We accidentally stumbled upon this exhibit on last night’s art crawl and I was very smitten by Do’s large photographs of baby dolls, some of which you can see below.

Childhood Memories By Do Byung Kyu

Childhood Memories Baby Doll Umbilical Chord Close Up
Check Out The Baby Doll Umbilical Chord Made of Actual Baby Dolls

Are they creepy…or are they cool? Only you can decide for yourself, but I liked them. You can read more about Byung-Kyu Do and his inspiration for Childhood Memories at This Link. There are tons of galleries in the same building as Emmanuel Fremin Gallery so be sure to do some exploring floor to floor if you come to see this small but fascinating exhibit. You never know what you might discover!

Childhood Memories By Do Byung Kyu Will be on Exhibit Through November 3rd, 2012 at the Emmanuel Fremin Gallery, located at 547 W. 27th Street, Suite 508, New York City.

Childhood Memories by Byung Kyu Do

Behold the Cold, Dead Stare of The Baby Doll

Secret Universe by Aelita Andre at NYC’s Agora Gallery

Aelita Andre Pointing to Paintings
Aelita Andre Admires her Work at the Agora Gallery (All Photos By Gail)

It was almost exactly one year ago that The Worley Gig was first introduced to the engaging painting style of art prodigy Aelita Andre via her 2011 solo exhibit, Prodigy of Color. Aelita, now five years old, has a new show at Agora Gallery and we were on hand last night for the opening reception of the current Andre collection called Secret Universe.

Island of Fairies By Aelita Andre
“Island of Fairies”

It sounds hilarious to observe that the artwork of a five year old has “visibly matured” since last year, but that is definitely the case with Secret Universe. Andre has maintained her signature abstract style, which involves dripping and pouring paint of various colors onto a canvas and then embellishing it with the adhesion of random found objects including toys, dolls, odd bits of plastic and metal, and lots of glitter! While these pieces are instantly recognizable as Andre’s work (and for those skeptics, a video of Aelita in the process of creating many paintings 100%-on-her-own plays on a continuous loop in the gallery) this collection includes several multi-panel works that further demonstrate Andre’s ability to extend her vision. Overall, her new work also has a more dynamic feel, for lack of a better way to describe it, and the individual works have sharper points of contrast within them.

Floating Rainbow Man By Aelita Andre
“Floating Rainbow Man”

Paleontologists Footprint By Aelita Andre
“Paleontologist’s Footprint Dinosaurs Nesting Grounds”

Photos don’t fully capture the brightness of the colors on these canvases, which is another reason that your enjoyment of Aelita Andre’s work will be so fully heightened by experiencing this show in person, if you are intrigued at all. It will be interesting to see how her painting style develops as she gets older and to see whether she will become less abstract in her representation while maintaining her surrealist style. There is no doubt that Aelita Andre is an authentic and exciting talent to keep an eye on. She’s also a really cute kid who was running around the gallery at Saturday’s opening like, well, a typical happy 5 year old. Her sprit is definitley captured in her work.

String City By Aelita Andre
“String City”

It’s also worth noting that while we fully expected to see Andre’s work selling for the tens of thousands of dollars, pieces are mostly in the $4800 – $6,000 range, with only two very large multi-panel works selling for close to $13,000. Certainly an affordable price range, though your mileage may vary.

Dinosaur Planet By Aelita Andre Detail
“Dinosaur Planet” (Detail)

Secret Universe By Aelita Andre is on Exhibit through July 3rd, 2012 only, so don’t waste any time planning your visit. The Agora Gallery is Located at 530 West 25th Street (West of 10th Avenue), 2nd Floor, NYC. Gallery Hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 11 AM – 6 PM.

Agora Gallery Sign For Aelita Andre Opening