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By Nina J P Evans

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

David Levinthal: Barbie!


Though you wouldn’t think it to look at her, today Barbie is 52 years old. Here are some pretty adorable (even if you're not into Barbie you will love them) Polaroid photographs by David Levinthal featured in an exhibition at GERING & LóPEZ GALLERY 730 Fifth Avenue New York, NY. They were created to celebrate Barbie’s 50th birthday. I think they're the best to date being much more subtle and more stylised than how she's typically portrayed. The press release quotes:
A familiar and often polarizing image, the Barbie doll has served as a figure of the idealized female form and the quintessence of glamour as well as a taboo symbol of the oppressive currents in society that have affected generations of American youths.
These dolls showcase the height of post-war fashion from 1959 to the early 1970s. “Couched in the style of early high fashion photographers such as Irving Penn and Richard Avedon.” Posed in front of solid vibrant coloured backgrounds as to eliminate a sense of scale and comparison to other objects, compositionally they are perfectly framed. The lighting is evocative of fashion portraits of that era, creating a more polished Breakfast at Tiffany’s styling—suggestive of being a high-climbing socialite. Fashion photographs of that time showed the same sense of stiffness when striking a pose; seeing Barbie  photographed as a model rather than a doll makes her seem a little more real. “The subjects of these photographs are not toys, but rather representations of popular culture.” Using iconic figures like Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn David Levinthal’s photographs embrace a sense of sexuality and glamour.

David Levinthal (Polaroid Polacolor ER Land Film, 24 x 20 inches)
Photographs from the exhibition online at GERING & LóPEZ GALLERY 

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