BEING RAISED BY BARBIE

I was a very lonely only child growing up in the 1950s.  Being raised with mentally ill family and neglected I turned to living in my imagination and building my own family. 

“Barbie was officially born at the American International Toy Fair in NYC on March 9, 1959. She wore a black and white zebra striped swimsuit, a topknot ponytail and came as a blonde or brunette. Her promo read “New for ’59, The Barbie Doll: A Shapely Teenage Fashion Model”. Her clothes were created by Mattel designer Charlotte Johnson and handmade by homeworkers in Japan where the first dolls were manufactured. At $3 apiece, 350,000 Barbies were sold that first year. Wisely, Mattel acquired the rights to the Bild Lilli doll in 1964 and halted production.”

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I ran out and got my first Barbie after I saw the commercial for her on tv.   I had a lot of them and made sure I purchased every new outfit that came out.   My Barbies became my role models and family.  Barbie taught me I didn’t have to grow up and be a wife, mother, teacher or secretary.  Barbie was savvy and had careers like being an entertainer on stage.  As a singer she wore the a black sequin mermaid gown with long black gloves and high heel pumps.  The name of the outfit is “Solo in the Spotlight “.  I wanted to grow up and be an entertainer and wear a great tight sequin gown.  Barbie said I could be successful for me and didn’t need to have a man to take care of me.  That’s quite a message in 1959.

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Barbie was strong. Barbie was sexy.  She had big boobs. I wanted big boobs.  She had all the latest fashions too. They made one wedding dress outfit but that seemed awkward because Ken had not come on the market.  It was like they made it to placate the marriage myth to young girls. Oh yeah and after the career go get married.  Little girls love weddings.  That’s because little girls don’t know what marriage is and that they need a man in the picture. It’s all about the DRESS.  That how I eventually tied the knot. 

I wonder how Barbie’s marriage to Ken Carson ended??


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It was Barbie who set the stage for my future as a creative artist not my real family.  She was different in the world of dolls. I was different in the world of girls.  I was encouraged to be creative. I pursued a career in fashion illustration.   She also inspired me to be a compulsive clothes shopper .

By the way I did get married and I have a wonderful son Dan who attends Colgate University and made the Dean’s List this year!!

Who knew the power of a little plastic doll. 

My fashion designs and illustrations from the 1960s – 1970s. 

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MORE FABULOUS ART ON THE HUDSON RIVER – WAVE HILL 

Wave Hill has a Sunroom Project Space where guest artists display their work.  I met artist Amie Cunat peeking through her exhibition “HIDEOUT “.    Her work is created with cardboard and paper mache.


I love this colorful hanging and I think it would be an extraordinary room divider in my apartment.  

And Amie’s special guest at the opening was dressed to match the art.  

THE HUDSON RIVER IS ALIVE WITH ART – WAVE HILL SHOW “NATURE POPS”

The Hudson River is alive with art.  I attended the opening reception of The Glyndor Gallery show Nature Pops. 
“A half-century after the emergence of Pop art as a revolutionary response to new norms of consumerism, Nature Pops!, Wave Hill’s summer 2016 exhibition, brings together work by artists who calibrate this movement in contemporary terms. Continuing to re-evaluate popular culture, particularly the increasing mediation of our experience by technology, artists question whether we can still have an authentic experience―even in the natural world. Interpreting nature and the environment through a populist lens, Nature Pops! includes recent work that is especially relevant in an age of digital overload and environmental crisis. Presenting the show at Wave Hill, a stunning garden and cultural center located in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, adds particular depth and dimension to the discussion.

Nature Pops! affirms the fascination that the aesthetics of pop culture—the culture of everyday—still has for artists, but offers nuanced perspectives, sometimes subversive, sometimes playful. Cartoons and comics were accessible media that Pop artists elevated to fine-art status in the 1960s and ’70s. ”

There is a tremendous amount of talent in the Bronx and the Hudson Valley.  If you have not been to Wave Hill you are missing a world of nature and art.   It is a hidden gem in the Bronx.  My friend, Jamie Passevento, a fellow artist friend and I attended the opening of the above exhibition.  It was exciting and colorful.  It was a fun show expressing nature in the form of the Pop Art movement.  Here’s the art and artists who participated in the show. 

EMILIO PEREZ – his unique prints inspired by outer space. 

 KIRA NAM GREENE – amazing paintings in watercolor, gouache, and colored pencils.  Kira weaves incredible patterns with food in Pop Art tradition ala Warhol. 


AMY PRYOR – Amy uses collage, sculpture and painting to explore commerce and culture. 


JOANNE CARSON – extremely colorful paintings of flora and landscapes. 


GABRIEL DE GUZMAN – Curator 


TODAY’S PAINTING-INSOMNIA AND A WORK IN PROGRESS 

22″ x 28″ acrylic landscape.  I couldn’t sleep tonight so the canvas called to me!

 

THE DR. SEUSS THEORY OF MY LIFE

I purchased Dr. Seuss’s “Oh the Places You’ll Go ” 15 years ago.  It’s my favorite inspirational book for what life is about.   So this morning my daily writing practice turned to the voice of Dr. Seuss.  

“OH THE PLACES YOU’LL GO…” 

Oh the people 

you’ll meet 

It’s a journey worth taking 

But it’s not a small feat 

Though you may want to quit 

Hide your head in the sand

If the fear takes over

You can hold someone’s hand

So be courageous and go towards the light 

Never use avoidance 

To deal with your plight 

This world isn’t pretty 

In fact it is sad

When you keep giving to others 

It negates some of the bad


As an artist standing at the turning point 

Not knowing how far

Keep being creative 

Be the artist you are