Barbie has been at the center of many subversive art pieces
, if only because her impossible-to-attain figure is the epitome of unhealthy feminine ideals. It's safe to say that Barbie has become the ultimate stand-in for the hyper-feminine — a caricature of what society expects of women.
For Barbie's latest foray into art, photographer Catherine Théry takes some of history's most famous works of art and replaces all the protagonists with Barbie dolls. Shown in an exhibit at Teodora Galerie
titled "Pas celles que vous croyez" (roughly translated to "Not the ones you think"), Théry's work aims to forcefully bring the feminine into a realm historically dominated by men — classic art.
Barbie takes over the table in Da Vinci's "The Last Supper," peers from behind the apple in Magritte's "The Son Of Man," and gathers round the table in Cezanne's "The Card Players." Théry's infiltrates many iconically male-dominated scenes with women — the most cartoonish, feminine women, at that, with costumes hand-painted directly onto the doll to showcase Barbie's voluptuous shape at its most ridiculous.
Barbie has been seen as a "ravishing idiot who exhibits for decades her perfect breasts and her too-long legs," the website for Teodora Galerie says of Théry's work. "Who better than Barbie, the model for the female ideal, to accept the disguise and play all the roles — masculine and feminine — in the most daring of poses without ever losing her femininity?"
While these works don't address the lack of women of color represented in the art world, Théry's point is to disrupt these masculine scenes with the ultimate feminine icon, and embrace her femininity without disparaging it. "'Not the ones you think' gives all Barbies in the world the opportunity to finally be intelligent and beautiful at once," the exhibit statement says. See images from the provocative series, ahead.
All works are being sold at the Teodora Galery in Paris, 25 rue de Penthièvre, Paris 75008 .