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Doll Parts 

Wednesday, Oct 10 2012
When you're a kid the urge to muck with Barbie's plasic perfection is undeniable. That long blonde hair and peaches-and-cream complexion just invite creative misuse. Our particular "Partytime Barbie" eventually found herself sporting a purple mohawk, Bowie-inspired face paint, and a handmade wardrobe that could have come straight out of designer Vivienne Westwood's closet. Fortunately for us some people have never grown out of playing with dolls, and the fruits of their twisted visions are on display in the 10th Annual Altered Barbie Exhibition 2012. The show is a veritable cornucopia of severed doll parts, flamboyant dioramas, and surreal photography, all from over 50 artists using Ken and Barbie as their source material. Diane Cassidy painstakingly recreates famous works from the history of art with her dolls, giving pieces by Warhol, Wyeth, and Whistler a witty makeover. In a series of peaceful, spare paintings, Ronman Ng transforms Barbie into Buddhism-inspired deities such as White Tarbie and Amitabha Budbie, while exhibition co-curator Ruby Pearl takes a more deliciously profane tack with her sexualized representations of the doll. In this election year Lavonne Sallee even puts Barack and Michelle in the show, dressed in their wedding finery and perched atop a classroom globe. And how would Barbie vote? Even with her pink Corvette we think she'd consider herself part of the 99 percent.
Wednesdays-Sundays, 1 p.m. Starts: Oct. 24. Continues through Nov. 18, 2012

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Heidi De Vries

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