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  • Writer's picturePeggy Nichols

Daena Title, an Artist Obsessed With What it is to be Female. Drowning the Barbie

'Madonna of The Dolls', oil on canvas, 42 x 42 inches

"I am obsessed with what it is to be female, attractive and performative in today's world. Modern female icons like Beauty Pageant Queens and Barbie Dolls fascinate me, and I am drawn to their indoctrinating power, almost against my will. I am fascinated by the ways we re-invent ourselves in accordance to the whims of the society we inhabit; the ways we hope to present ourselves to others, and the ways we wish we could see ourselves. Within my mixed media canvases, based on photographs both staged and found, I consider the dichotomies of beauty and distortion, theatricality and truth, authenticity and conformity, complicity and rebellion. These canvases are my amused social commentaries on the ever changing, wrestling match of society, identity, self-esteem and sexism."

Barbie and Her Reflection:

"To achieve the photo studies for these paintings, I submerged a Barbie doll(s) and myself in my backyard pool and then aimed my camera upwards toward the doll and the under-side of the pool's surface. What you are seeing is both the the doll and it's underwater reflection, which allows a mix of both representational and abstract worlds to exist simultaneously on the canvas. The idea is to pit what is "real" vs. what is "fake" on several levels. The paint, the reflections, and the Barbie doll herself, all present a reality that is simultaneously distorted and representational. These compositions of refraction and distorted reflection mirror the way Barbie presents a distorted message to girls and women. Like the images in the painting, she is a faulty mirror, one that can grotesquely and unrecognizably distort the true feminine.

Pervasive societal ideal, indoctrinating tool, or "just a doll," Barbie, this 53 (and counting) year old icon, presents a view of women that is as relentlessly intriguing as it is unattainable."

'Sweater Doll', oil on canvas, 42 x 42 inches

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