Ever ponder what would happen if the world’s most famous plastic-limbed dilettante Barbara Millicent Roberts, AKA Barbie, were to completely come undone? Let’s say, in an unfortunate turn of events, Babs was given the boot from her eco-friendly, 4,881-square-foot Malibu dream home for zoning violations and for illegally keeping a giraffe in her backyard; unceremoniously dumped by her longtime paramour Ken for Reichen Lehmkuhl (they met at the gym); fired from her current gigs as a green-minded architect, dentist, lifeguard, ballerina, news anchor, race car driver, and babysitter; and, finally, forced to sell her pink corvette at auction. What would happen to poor Barbie? Would she join an ashram? Move to Central America? Get her own reality series on E!? Nah. Naturally, she’d become a full-on hoarder.
This grim non-reality is explored by St. Louis-based artist Carrie M Becker in a clever series of photographs titled “Barbie Trashes Her Dreamhouse.” In an effort to "represent a more 'current' view of Barbie's lifestyle," Becker meticulously constructed and photographed a series of 10 miniature domestic hoarding scenes populated
overrun by 1/6 scale doll accessories and teeny-tiny handmade items. As you can see, Becker's disorienting and insanely detailed dioramas — living room, dining room, kitchen, hallway, bathroom, bedroom, teenager’s bedroom, home office, laundry room, and a display of post-hoard cleanup — appear to be just as terrifying/depressing as the real deal.
As a young adult, I collected small Japanese toys from a company called Rement. During the summer after completing graduate school, I had some down time and decided to use my commercial photography skills to shoot my miniature collection as though it were ‘real’. Also during that time, I also frequently watched shows like ‘Hoarders’ and ‘How Clean Is Your House?’ With that in mind, this past summer I began creating the images that are presented here, though I reflect their inspiration as a mirror and not a judgment. For me, this series is about creating a small, but perfect world where the viewer cannot distinguish between what is reality and what is fiction.
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