Jill Lee, curator of the ChatterBox Gallery and art curator for the State of California for Asia, is putting on the fifth showing of her Altered Barbie series. The Altered Barbie and Friends exhibition in Shanghai earlier this year included eleven of Laurie’s photographs for Women of Japan. The Altered Barbie show is a mixed-media take on Barbie, where many artists, some using real Barbie dolls and many using their own images, push the metaphor of Barbie in every possible direction. The show opens in early August at Red Ink Studios at 989 Market Street in San Francisco. The opening reception is Thursday evening, details to follow.
Laurie’s “Altar Barbie” will be the first piece other than a photograph that she has ever created for gallery exhibition. Altar Barbie is in process now in Laurie’s studio.As the concept develops over the next ten days, we’ll be updating what’s on the altar. The centerpiece is Charlotte Davis’s fat Barbie, aptly titled by the artist Pretty and Plump Barbie.
Laurie says: “I never played with Barbie myself; I think I’m too old. When I was a girl, they didn’t have these kind of iconic dolls. When I met Barbie, I hated her on sight.
I told both my daughters that I wouldn’t buy them Barbies or Barbie stuff, but if they got them as gifts or bought them with their own money, that was fine. As a result, I lived with Barbie for twenty years. By the end of that time, my younger daughter had dressed her Barbies in black leather and hung them upside down from the chicken-wire room divider.
I plan to update frequently this week, as I work on the concept of the altar. While I’m doing this, other people’s Barbie’s stories will help me and will inform how the altar comes together.
What did Barbie mean to you? Got any stories to share?