Dana F. Smith

32 Big Pictures: Barbie

Dana F. Smith

32 Big Pictures: Barbie



Edition Size





Hand Bound


21 × 16 in



$ 22,000.00

1 in stock

Dana F. Smith has used cut-and-paste techniques to create an intricate series of collages based on the theme of Barbie. Smith ‘colored’ a 1993 oversized Barbie child’s coloring book with images from magazines by painstakingly cutting up magazines and gluing each piece into the black-lined images of Barbie. Each collage has the underlying theme of a yearly season or holiday, and then the imagery used to ‘color’ the collage lends a second sub-theme that is derived from the use of a particular type of photo or magazine.
Curator’s Note
Every once in a long while an exceptional major artwork arises which evolves the practice within visual arts media (in this case, collage and artists books), advances the aesthetics of a visual genre (in this instance, representational figuration), provides a crucial analogical and imaginative tool for the biomedical sciences and other scientific disciplines, while also tapping into a seminal pop cultural phenomenon.
32 Big Pictures: Barbie is that major artwork. the book stands as a milestone of human anatomical illustration in the arts. It shares an art historical trajectory with the works of Andreas Vesalius and reminiscent of the complex anatomical studies of classic Chinese acupuncture. Yet while most of those acclaimed illustrations flay the layers of the human body into simplified illustrations of function, Dana F. Smith’s project is quite different; she is using ‘additive flaying’, applying layer after layer of associative imagery that provides myriad analogs to anatomical functions (a lightning storm as neurological function, underwater scenes as a kaleidoscopic illustration of the circulatory system) as well as a feminist perspective on the impact of historical, social and technological, influences on the human figure and human life. Smith’s seems to want to return the complexities of female and human character, experience, and form back to the literally and ideologically neutered and de-contextualized faux-ideal of “Barbie”.
The book also features numerous references to various scientific disciplines including the use of various popular and scientific magazines as the primary sources for many of the collages of Barbie and Ken featured in this book including: PC World, MacWorld, and Wired Magazine. Other science related sources include Architectural Digest, macro photography, underwater photography, and outer space photography. – Marshall Weber
Material Sources
1. Mac Barbie – a variety of computer magazines such as PC World, MacWorld, etc.
2. Barbie Q – Food magazines such as Bon Apetit
3. BBQ Ken – Food magazines such as Bon Apetit
4. Barbie Online – Wired Magazine
5. Love, Barbie – macro photography
6. Breeder Barbie – porn magazines combined with Mothering magazine
7. Breeder Ken – porn magazines combined with Mothering magazine
8. Barbie with Buds – High Times magazine
9. Barbie’s Make-over – fashion magazine, especially make-up ads
10. Pearl Barbie – pearls
11. Rose Barbie – roses
12. Barbie with Divers – underwater photography
13. Deep Sea Barbie – underwater photography
14. Barbie’s Boudoir – People magazine
15. Barbie’s Bike – biking and marbleized paper
16. Cosmic Barbie – space photos
17. Cosmic Ken – space photos
18. Play Boy Barbie – Play Boy magazine
19. Play Girl Barbie – Play Girl magazine
20. Boardwalk Barbie – Life magazine
21. Barbie’s Time – Time Magazine
22. Broker Barbie – Money magazine
23. Subarbia – Architectural Digest
24. Barbie’s Desert Storm – war photos of Desert Storm
25. Art Barbie – Art magazines such as ArtForum and Art In America, etc
26. Hair Barbie – Hair
27. Modern Primitive Ken – tattoo magazines
28. Barbie Sees All – eyes
29. Watch Barbie – watches
30. Santa Barbie – weather
31. Barbee – bees
32. Cinderbarbie – homemaking magazines such as Better Homes and Gardens, Good Housekeeping, etc.