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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Artists Give Barbie Cosmetic Surgery

Posted on Thu, Oct 27, 2011 at 10:00 AM

"With so Many Personalities Who Will She Be Today?" - DANNY SANCHEZ
  • Danny Sanchez
  • "With so Many Personalities Who Will She Be Today?"

Plastic surgery is for people who want to look like Barbie. But consider Barbie herself. She already looks like Barbie. What kind of surgery should she have? Barbie's lucky in this regard. There are literally millions of her, and almost as many artists willing to perform operations for free. So if a particular surgery goes awry -- or if it goes as planned, but not everyone likes the result -- there can be plenty more operations.

Welcome to "Altered Barbie," where some people love the doll, some resent her, many mock her, but everyone has a say in what she becomes. The exhibit continues through Nov. 20 at Shotwell 50 Studio.

"What Would Barbie Do?" - CHRISTY LOU SEXTON
  • Christy Lou Sexton
  • "What Would Barbie Do?"

Artist Christy Lou Sexton describes Barbie as "a beautiful horror," adding that "she can be a scary, daunting icon at times." In "What Would Barbie Do?", Sexton stands Barbie alongside the pope, whose eyeballs melt from an exposed skull. In "Well, Red," Glixart paints Barbie a deep burgundy, replaces her lower legs with pencils, puts a book in her hands, and seats her in a box with book pages as wallpaper.

"Well, Red" - GLIXART
  • Glixart
  • "Well, Red"

Colleen Leslie's "Chocolate Syrup" resembles a crime scene, with poor Barbie the sweet victim. In Danny Sanchez's "With so Many Personalities Who Will She Be Today?", our doll holds a vanity mirror in front of a head that's gone missing.

"Chocolate Syrup" - COLLEEN LESLIE
  • Colleen Leslie
  • "Chocolate Syrup"

As creepy (and funny) as these are, prepare yourself for Friday's reception, in which men and women dress like Barbie and Ken -- including some who use makeup to paint gigantic eyes on their heads to better resemble the dolls. Life imitates art that imitates life.

"Altered Barbie" continues through Nov. 20 at Shotwell 50 Studio, 50 Shotwell (at 15th St.), S.F. Admission is free.

For more events in San Francisco this week and beyond, check out our calendar section. Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF and like us on Facebook.

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