As a young boy, I never wanted to play with guns, toy tractors, or race cars. My mom knew and accepted that I was beginning to discover my sexuality, but she fully embraced it.
My mom presented me with her coveted collection of barbies and barbie paraphernalia she had collected throughout her childhood. It was all in a 20-gallon plastic box. The box had a distinct smell when I opened it. I could almost taste the smell. I loved its nostalgic, pungent taste, like that of my grandmother’s perfume. I’ll never forget it. Somehow, my mom knew, as a boy, I’d enjoy the barbies. She was right. They became my everything.
Years later, I found myself in an emotional crisis. I needed to dive into a creative project to distract me from what was around me, my thoughts, and my feelings… So I dove into this box of barbies.
These photographs are an expression of my fascination with color, light, and shadow — and how they interplay with the emotional examination of a landscape. This series is an exploration of an unrealistic, unhealthy, insulting representation of the female appearance.
My goal is to transport the viewer into a surreal reality inspired by their inner child. As we grow from happy-go-lucky children into responsible adults, we leave behind the spirit of the child. We leave behind a curiosity, a wanting to play, and a sense of wonder and innocence. As adults, we must decide to return to that feeling.
In still-life photography, one must carefully choose props — placing them within a setting that provides context. Our childhood fascination with toys and collections, often put away in storage, comes out of the closet in these photos — Barbie reflected, flowered, and fried.