Art Exhibit Displaying Barbie Dolls As Religious Figurines Pulled

Religious Barbie Doll Exhibit

A provocative art exhibition featuring Barbie dolls as religious figurines such as the Virgin Mary and a crucified Jesus Christ has been pulled down amid complaints and threats made by angry believers. The exhibit titled “Barbie: The Plastic Religion,” by artists Marianela Perelli and Emiliano Paolini, had been unveiled at the POPA Gallery in Buenos Aires on October 11 but the duo said they had to decide against their show of “lowbrow  art” and pop surrealism when certain audiences seemed perturbed by it.

The 33 pieces in Perelli and Paolini’s collection included Barbie dolls dressed as Joan of Arc, the Virgin of Guadalupe – a patron saint from Mexico, and Kali – the blue-tinted, extra-armed Hindu goddess of destruction. In addition, apart from Barbie’s boyfriend Ken being featured as Jesus, he was also seen being depicted as St Sebastian, Gautama Buddha and the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

“We have received threats from various parts of the world,” Paolini said. “It's crazy ... they have misinterpreted our work.”

Paolini said his partner and he chose the popular fashion dolls for their joint project because religion tends to represent the most beautiful women as virgins and in today’s day and age, the most attractive depiction of a woman happens to be Barbie. According to the artist, the existing concept of beauty has often been seen in portraits of the Virgin Mary, who was more robust during Michelangelo’s time and more stylized during the Middle Ages.

He also stated that he was taken aback by the response of the audience, insisting both he and Perelli are very religious. While he has the word “Dios”, meaning God, tattooed on his hand, she wears a necklace depicting the Virgin of Guadalupe.

“We have a sanctuary in the kitchen that has more saints than the Vatican,” Paolini said.

Photo Credits: NTR

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