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Barbie Art - Barbie Parody


From: Judy Decker (jdecker_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Sep 09 2001 - 07:53:17 PDT

Wendy Manning suggested Barbie art parody so naturally I went hunting....

The Barbie Art parody is not online anymore (the site is still there but it
opens to a blank blue screen)...but if anyone knows of a link -- please
post to the list (I saved three images that I found on other sites and will
forward to anyone who wants them). Dean Brown's "Barbie Chronicles of Art"
is gone and so is his "Generic site". (Apparently he didn't want to fight
Mattel - they even demanded he remove the generic dolls).

Mattel has hired lawyers (maybe since 1997?) and gone after all sites that
have used their precious icons of American culture (even those that aren't
real Barbie dolls) -- very few remain (I found "Hacker Barbie").

Last summer the featured artist in the Comprehensive Art Symposium was an
artist who had used Barbie in his photographs. Even though he had already
moved on to other things-- Mattel went after him. He fought the case--just
to make a point. Below is a link the outcome.
At the bottom of his page is a link that shows his work.... He was a "no
name artist" who now has a name thanks to Mattel. It was a great publicity
gig for him. He was no longer making the Barbie art because it didn't
sell.... Now it is selling (I wonder why? I am sure he is thanking Mattel
big time....Although, I think he still has legal fees to deal with).

This is a great topic to approach with high school kids on "Censorship" -
and "cultural icons".

Here is another case:
And additional cases:

The Art of Barbie (book may still be available? something to look into):

Barbie AS famous paintings (Monet - Van Gogh - Renoir):

Is it Art? (Aesthetic issues -- about a fashion doll -- not Barbie - but
includes reference to Warhol's Barbie)

Barbie History:

It might be fun to approach this subject with kids..... I may even have
kids collect various toys they no longer want and try to do something with
the idea -- digital photography (maybe even Sandy Skoglund-ish).... Now
that the courts have ruled the photos DO NOT harm the "image of
Barbie"...we have a precedent (hmmm..... definitely something to think

Censorship is an interesting topic to discuss with kids....We (8th grade)
talked about censorship with Michelangelo's "Last Judgment" (and the
"Britches painter")

Sensational Sunday!

Judy Decker