A recent episode in my house made me discover Canadian doll photographer Mariel Clayton and her subversive art. She features a psychotic Barbie in a myriad different situations like sex, bondage and murder, represented in every tiny detail.
These are some of her works, taken from this site, but you can view her whole portfolio on Clayton's website.
After a first look, you could say there's a disturbed person behind these shots. Instead, Clayton seems to be just like any artist who lived a normal childhood, without abuse or violence of any sort. She's just against Barbie and the ideal female she represents, because she doesn't fit in any authentic form. Therefore it seems to me she's rebelling by showing the universal acclaimed doll's dark side in a way that may look odd to the public. But once you accept the concept for what it is, you start to get the fun the artist refers to.
"These pictures are just a bit of weirdness, my attempts at humour. People either get it or they don’t. There’s no message involved, no hidden agenda or manifesto, no secret subliminal stance on genders in general… it’s just damn freakin’ funny." credits
And you start to appreciate the talent. Let's face it: technically, these pictures are perfect. Conceptually you wonder how Clayton came up with with such inventive poses. And they are maniacally prepared, too. Those lovely compositions, full of details, surely take a great deal of dedication. Come on, aren't these shots more innocent than some kids modeling ones? I feel totally outraged by the view of those fawless children dressed up like adults on magazines. Every time I turn a page I can't stop wondering they are totally deprived of their childhood, made of innocent days nobody is going to give them back anymore. What's this robbery compared to some odd dolls who do wild sex or decapitate Ken in some miniature pornographic sets?
Maybe Mariel Clayton should pay a vist to my house in case she lacks inspiration for her next work. My 6-year-old projected a peculiar fantasy into the usal Barbie-Ken couple the other day. Get this:
A little change into her playthings? An alarming perversion? Or just a kid's fantasy? Not up to me to judge or worry over this. I didn't keep my dolls sinless, every child uses Barbie and Ken for sex education after all, it's a path in life. So if one day Alice changes her mind and gives up her plans to be a waitress and wants to follow Clayton's steps in art, let her be. I'll encourage her to. Dreams come true, even these dreams :)