Saturday, November 04, 2006

FAQ #2…

4. “How do you go about designing a piece?”
Sometimes there’s a storyline to my pieces and I’ll have a particular idea I wish to explore (depending on the parts being used) and that will serve as the concept that shapes the piece. Other times it’s purely design and it’s about arranging shapes and patterns within the body parts. And sometimes it’s both, where I start out with just a pattern or design in mind and by the end a concept has evolved. Much the way I would imagine a musician writes music, it varies from piece to piece.

5. “Where do you get all of your dolls?”
Everywhere! Garage sales, thrift stores and eBay mostly, and of course I’m always accepting donations from any little girl ready to rid her life of plastic soap operas. It’s important to me that the dolls are acquired as second-hand objects and that they’ve had a previous life in the hands of a child. This has become such an important part of the story, the love, and the conceptual basis for these works. I have literally thousands of “previously owned” Barbie dolls/parts in my studio from which to choose. They’re organized by body part, type, etc making it a lot easier to pull the specific parts that I need to create a piece.

6. “How do most people respond to your work?”
One of the biggest joys for me has been the way others react to my jewelry. It continues to amaze me the range of responses I get regarding what I do with Barbie. Some people respond to its humor and wit and think it’s pure fun, or it feeds a sense of nostalgia for them. Others weigh in on the feminist edge and feel its' strength in statement. Some are creeped out and think it’s dark and disturbing to see 'body' parts cut up. Others think it’s just simply bizarre. I love that everyone brings his or her own 'baggage' and reaction to the work, indicative of their own relationship with, or feelings about the iconic plastic princess. One of my biggest goals has been to create art that people can relate to. I believe I’ve been successful with this.

7. “Do you ever feel strange cutting her up?”
I get this question a lot and I find it really interesting. The first Barbie 'body' I ever cut into was a little strange and admittedly it made me feel slightly satisfied, but now it’s become such a part of what I do that no, it doesn’t creep me out. It’s a material to me; a piece of plastic, something to be manipulated and transformed and I approach it with that attitude during the cutting stage. I find it intriguing that so many people ask this question because it reveals the enormous amount of humanness attached to this particular inanimate object. So much so that it appears murderous to transform her as I do. It seems that for some, the reality of Barbie as toy, plastic and un-living, is indistinguishable from her imagined role as 'Woman,' thus again underlining her iconic influence.

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