In The Frame
In The Frame
In The Frame

Life in plastic—it’s fantastic

by The Art Newspaper  |  10 February 2016
Andy Warhol's tribute to a thoroughly modern miss. © Mattel
Andy Warhol's tribute to a thoroughly modern miss. © Mattel
When she first appeared in 1959, the slender but curvaceous figure of one particular pint-sized female icon marked a revolutionary departure from the traditional baby doll, say the organisers of a show at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris (10 March-18 September). But to which blonde bombshell do the scholars refer? Barbie, of course, who is “more than just a toy—she has mirrored a culture and its evolution”, the curators say. With more than 700 dolls on show, including Barbie astronaut (1965), Barbie surgeon (1973) and our favourite, Barbie presidential candidate (2000), along with works by contemporary artists such as Andy Warhol (Barbie, 1985), it’s clear that “Barbie is more than just a doll; she is a life”. But can the same be said for Ken?

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