Steel Cool Barbie: Paintings Portraying the Fabulous Life of America’s Favorite Doll

Ever since her introduction to the American public, Barbie has been an artistic inspiration. While some work subverts the fabulous Barbie lifestyle (check out my earlier post on Mariel Clayton’s twistedly tragic Barbie photo series), others choose to embrace the aspirational allure the doll has portrayed to our society.

Painter Karen Ann Jones has taken this route and used Barbie as her post-modern muse. Jones chose to paint on steel (instead of canvas) thus giving her Barbie art a vibrant look, cool to the touch. Interesting to read that Jones wanted her original muse to be the drag queen.

On her website she writes: My current body of work started with my desire to paint drag queens. I am fascinated because of their extremes and the beautiful contradictions that they are… I didn’t have a drag queen shoved in my closet to photograph and paint. This urgency to paint led me to Barbies. Beautifully expressive… Lipstick and Rubber. I love the raw ruggedness of steel with the buttery feel of oil paint… bringing freshness and intimacy to inanimate objects.

Check out more of Jones’ work and purchase her paintings online.

Oscar Raymundo
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