Artist Dana Smith has worked in her studio in the San Francisco Mission for over 40 years. Her fine prints and hand made artist’s books reside in rare book library collections and museums world wide, including The Library of Congress, The Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley, The Victoria and Albert Museum in London, among others.
The below original artwork is a book, a bound series of 32 collages made by cutting up magazines with scissors, and glueing the pieces onto the template of a children’s coloring book about the doll called Barbie. The story told by the cartoon outlines of the coloring book is about the seasons and corresponding American holiday celebrations over the cycle of a year.
The collages build on these cultural themes by juxtaposing another layer of meaning that is derived from the modern American mass media based imagery of popular magazines. Each one of the collages uses a restricted palette of images from a particular magazine or type of imagery.
Dana F. Smith has used cut-and-paste techniques to create an intricate series of collages based on the theme of Barbie. Smith ‘colored’ a 1993 oversized Barbie child’s coloring book with images from magazines by painstakingly cutting up magazines and gluing each piece into the black-lined images of Barbie. Each collage has the underlying theme of a yearly season or holiday, and then the imagery used to ‘color’ the collage lends a second sub-theme that is derived from the use of a particular type of photo or magazine.
This unique book has also been published as a very small edition of 6 facsimiles that are designed to replicate the original book as closely as possible.
1. Mac Barbie – a variety of computer magazines such as PC World, MacWorld, etc.
2. Barbie Q – Food magazines such as Bon Apetit
3. BBQ Ken – Food magazines such as Bon Apetit
4. Barbie Online – Wired Magazine
5. Love, Barbie – macro photography
6. Breeder Barbie – porn magazines combined with Mothering magazine
7. Breeder Ken – porn magazines combined with Mothering magazine
8. Barbie with Buds – High Times magazine
9. Barbie’s Make-over – fashion magazine, especially make-up ads
10. Pearl Barbie – pearls
11. Rose Barbie – roses
12. Barbie with Divers – underwater photography
13. Deep Sea Barbie – underwater photography
14. Barbie’s Boudoir – People magazine
15. Barbie’s Bike – biking and marbleized paper
16. Cosmic Barbie – space photos
17. Cosmic Ken – space photos
18. Play Boy Barbie – Play Boy magazine
19. Play Girl Barbie – Play Girl magazine
20. Boardwalk Barbie – Life magazine
21. Barbie’s Time – Time Magazine
22. Broker Barbie – Money magazine
23. Subarbia – Architectural Digest
24. Barbie’s Desert Storm – war photos of Desert Storm
25. Art Barbie – Art magazines such as ArtForum and Art In America, etc
26. Hair Barbie – Hair
27. Modern Primitive Ken – tattoo magazines
28. Barbie Sees All – eyes
29. Watch Barbie – watches
30. Santa Barbie – weather
31. Barbee – bees
32. Cinderbarbie – homemaking magazines such as Better Homes and Gardens, Good Housekeeping, etc.