Barbie Fest

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Run Away Ken, Mariel Clayton's Barbies Are Out to Sadistically Kill You

Not everyone is a Barbie fan; one look at Ontario artist Mariel Clayton’s work will convince you that hatred and antipathy towards a doll—in this case America’s favorite plastic icon Barbie—can result in some pretty bizarre and twisted artwork that you probably wouldn’t want your young children to stumble upon.

Mariel Clayton is of the opinion that Barbie’s figure is highly unrealistic and would require no less than 27 plastic surgeries to emulate in real life. Instead of just ranting and raving about the plastic girl whose story is based only on her outfits and their ability to attract Ken—the single man in her life—Mariel Clayton has created some of the most disturbing (and intriguing) scenes ever used with a Barbie doll, which she then photographs.

In Mariel’s “Barbie World”, Barbie is not a feminist, nor a stereo-typical pin-up model; rather, Barbie is just as frightening as Dexter—seen HERE in another post with a hacksaw—and her wimpy, metro-sexual boyfriend Ken is the target of Barbie’s pyscho-pathic anger. (However, in Mariel’s first piece, Barbie committed suicide in the bathtub because Ken had left her for another man, so Barbie does not always come out ahead.) There is a story behind each and every scene that Mariel creates and the photographs often depict the mess than goes with a gory killing contrasted with Barbie is an extremely relaxed position.

Like many artists, Mariel’s dreamscape seems a bit stranger and much more vivid than your average girl; she once had a dream that Ken was impaled on the wall with Barbie’s dildo. Again, like any good artist, Mariel is adept at making her visions a reality; she then took her vision of Ken impaled by a dildo and and photographed it.  She seems to have a sense of humor about herself and jokes that medication would help her with her dreams—don’t worry though, she is fully aware that her art would suffer and be quite a bit more boring if she took medication for her artistic temperament—Mariel has no plans to change her style of work.

Mariel, herself, claims that she is not a feminist and gets tired of women blaming men for everything that goes wrong in their lives. She claims she is kind of an anti-feminist which she also recognizes is ironic given her choice of work and subject matter. For a photo-gallery of more of Mariel Clayton’s work, look HERE.


Emma Will's picture

Emma Will

While I would consier the displayed work disturbing, I appreciate the thought that must have gone into it. Just a bit gory for me


Anonymous's picture


They definitely are a little gory--I hope Ken doesn't see them and get nightmares. -becksta