Barbie: The Plastic Religion, sacred or profane? Pop!


We’re used to seeing her looking beautiful and elegant. With a smile that has been the same for decades Barbie, the world’s most famous oxygenated blonde doll, has accustomed us to many extravagances. #This symbol of pop culture, which has emerged unscathed over two generations, has often been at the forefront of discussion, for better or for worse. Already accustomed to models like Barbie Astronaut and Barbie Paleontologist, we have seen more recent versions like Barbie on Linkedin in the role of consultant, helping young women in the arduous task of following their dreams, another initiative that has attracted attention from all over the world. #In this work two artists from Argentina, Pool Paolini and Marianela Perelli – better known by the stage name Pool&Marianela – have created an entire collection of dolls inspired by religions around the world (Barbie: The Plastic Religion). And so they turned Barbie into the Virgin of Guadalupe as well as Mary Magdalene, Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of Itati and the Virgin of Aparecida. The Ken doll, in turn, has become San Rocco, Moses, Buddha, and even Jesus Christ. And while public opinion and the religious world were outraged to the point of pushing the Popa Gallery in Buenos Aires to cancel the show before its opening, the artists are justified in saying that in their work there was no intention to offend: they just wanted to combine symbols of modernity with ancient symbols of beauty and popularity. Benedetta Sabatini