In Barbie’s name, What Would Barbie Do?
“Barbie is the… non-religious Jesus.” – pretty strong words coming from one clearly devout Barbie follower, artist Charlotte Davis. You can hear this, along with lots of other exuberant commentary, in a video on the website for an extraordinary show displaying Barbie and Ken like you’ve never seen them before.Today the 9th Annual San Francisco Altered Barbie Exhibition premieres and will explore the idea of Barbie as an icon with this year’s theme “In Barbie’s name…What would Barbie do? And Ken too?”
The show features hundreds of Barbie and Ken dolls, all manipulated in various ways to depict the many visions developed by the creative artists who contribute to the show, many of whom happen to be local. When they call this the “Altered Barbie” show, they really aren’t kidding. They have everything, from Day of the Dead Barbie to Drag Queen Barbie! Themes range from sexy to political to historical and religious.
The artwork pictured above is entitled “God Gives Adam a Condom,” by artist lavonnesbarbies, is his own interpretation of Michelangelo’s “God creating Adam,” as seen inside the immaculate Sistine Chapel in Vatican City. The artist says on the exhibit’s website, “My piece has God giving Adam a condom and God has a bunch a babies hanging onto him. It is as if God is saying “Enough All Ready”. I gave God hair and a beard made from a wig and did a partial repaint of his face. Since the condom is large I had to give Adam a penis to compensate.”
Clearly, this exhibit is going to be… something else. A warning is even posted on the website, describing the show as uplifting, controversial, and inspirational, all at the same time. The exhibition causes viewers to think about Barbie’s place in the world and how she, as both an icon and marketing toy, has impacted society throughout the years.
Honestly though, you know you’re just a little bit curious to check out how long Ken’s you-know-what is? I mean, wait…did I say that?
“It offends and inspires, what more can you ask for?”
50 Shotwell St. San Francisco, CA Wed-Sat 1p.m-8p.m Sun 1p.m-5p.m CLOSED Mon-Tues Admission: FREE! All photos courtesy of AlteredBarbie.com