D e b o r a h  C o l o t t i

2750 Bloomfield Road, Sebastopol, CA 95472
(707)823-7040  fax 823-4989

Artist Statement

the Barbs

For many years, I have toyed with the Barbie icon. In 1996, I began the
current series "the Barbs". To date, I have created over 150 interpretations
of Barb in the real world.

Her life has always been stiffly perfect. Mine has not. None of my friends'
lives have been either. How could we possibly identify with something so
elusive and uniquely bland? Rather than trying to make myself as frozen
and superficial as a doll, I decided to make Barbie more like me. And more
like the lives I see around me everyday.

Barb does not grow up to live in a pink palace, with scads of furniture,
clothing, and accessories - rather she is a down-and-out Bag Lady. Or a
Battered Wife. Or an angry Spitting Nails Barb. Perhaps she is a Molested
Barb haunted by ghosts. Or an Alcoholic Barb drowned in her champagne
glass. She's pinched, and squeezed, and ripped, and peeled. Like real people,
she has acne, gets fat, and becomes old and wrinkled.

Finally, this corporate image of unattainable and undesirable womanhood is
tarred, feathered, and exiled.

I, and others who have seen these Barbs, feel released from the pervasive,
yet strangely hidden, cultural straitjacket in which Barbie has attempted to
imprison contemporary female identity. People laugh, wince, gasp, and
ultimately recognize how Barbie has attempted to entwine them.

The laughter and revelation is crucial to our collective feminine soul.

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