In the summer of 2023, I began this project in response to an open call by PH21 Gallery (ph21gallery.com) in Budapest, Hungary. The exhibition, titled "Dolling Up the Lens: Barbie" was focused on exploring the cultural effects of Barbie (good and bad). With this in mind, combined with a summer filled with sobering reality, I began pondering what Barbie's life would look like in the real world.
It didn't take long. Sadly, removing Barbie from her fantastical life was not a difficult task. Violence, war, prejudice, mental health issues, addictions, aging, illness, homelessness, and evil are familiar headlines. Too familiar to some and arguably, not familiar enough to others.
For Barbie fans out there, perhaps this is taking it a bit too far. Perhaps the fantasy world of Barbie serves a purpose beyond my matured recognition. That said, I never played with Barbies as a kid. Her perfect world was not mine to behold as a child. I can only view her world now as an adult with a lifetime of experiences that serves as a reminder: Reality sometimes sucks.
"Final Goodbye" and "Homeless" part of 2023 "Dolling Up the Lens: Barbie" Curated Exhibit
PH21 Gallery, Budapest, Hungary