Barbie Dolls, 2008 by Chris Jordan
When looking at this sculpture from a distance, one may be forgiven for thinking that Environmental Graffiti had gone down the route of becoming a soft porn site. On closer inspection however, you’d notice that the breasts above were painstakingly created using 32,000 Barbie dolls by photographer Chris Jordan. Why? Because that’s the number of females in the US who have cosmetic surgery to enlarge their breasts every month.
The picture is oddly beautiful, mind-boggling and poignant. It poses such questions as: to whom did the Barbies belong to? Why were they thrown away? What is the story behind them? The poignancy about the piece perhaps lies in the fact that the sculpture creates a sense of lost innocence; a symbol of our fake throwaway society – one which is plastic and lies in entropy.
Chris Jordan has created a number of interesting, repetitive recycled found object photographs. his work is a not so gentle reminder of the consumerism and waste pervading our culture. Personally I find it interesting that the blogs I have found writing about this are very defensive about showing the works. as though there is something wrong with art that shows a delicate and subtle image of a woman’s breasts. or at least something wrong with being associated with it. however, not one seems to object that the barbies themselves are nude, interesting..