Monday, February 25, 2008

On Finding One's Inner Barbie - The Work of Audrey Mucci

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Tree Goddess

When I asked Audrey Mucci if I could write a piece about her for my blog, she told me that artist statements weren’t necessarily her cup of tea. She sent me a little blurb about the fact that she lives in Connecticut with her family, that she is a gallery director at a local community college…. and that she likes to collect ephemera. Interesting life.

I am a collector. I collect all sorts of things. My studio is filled with wonderful bits and pieces just waiting to be used in a piece of artwork. I am drawn to different shapes, colors and textures. The curve of a bottle, the yellow of a vintage apron, or the rough surface of a piece of rusted metal can all attract my attention. When using these things, I often think about how they were used before they found their way to me. I feel like I give them a new purpose by using them in my artwork. When I use these pieces or parts to make a sculpture, I also see my life. It is like putting together a puzzle–this goes into here, that goes somewhere over there. Initially, I do not know where every piece will go. It is in the creative process of putting the parts together that I begin to see the picture develop. This puzzle I am assembling is my own.

Audrey told me to look at the pictures of her work and said I could pretty much choose whatever I wanted to feature here. She makes all kinds of fantastic and thought-provoking art (see photo above), and as I browsed through her images, I realized that this was going to be a tough decision. The woman is talented! However, when I got to the set about Barbie, I knew I had arrived at my destination.

…the doll that manufacturers promote as an icon of cutting-edge womanhood, is viewed by many as, perhaps, the single most heinous reflection of sexism in a young girl’s life…and most certainly the bane of many a feminist mother's existence. Regardless of the fact that Mattel's current ad campaign for the much-maligned doll has traded in her anorexic image for neofeminist slogans and heartwarming rhetoric about rock climbing and math problem solving, I still tend to cringe when I see a little child holding one.

Audrey has put a special twist on the forty year old doll that put a smile on my face, however. I think you’ll enjoy this:

Ready for any occasion, this Barbie is always prepared! She has a heart in the top drawer and a condom in the bottom drawer.


This is another piece with no title, but one reader suggested, “The Lights are On But Nobody’s Home…”


This was Audrey’s first piece to sell in an exhibit:


Searching For My Inner Barbie

Hey, how ‘bout these condom-clad Safety Girls?

Safety Girls

Barbie is never just another pretty face…

Soaking in It

....but at times, she loses face…

See Whats Become of Me

This final piece, “Old New Piece” is one of my personal favorites.

Audrey writes, “ … the thighs rub together-just like in real life.”

Another blogger who calls herself, “The Urban Feminist” says, “I'd like to live in a world in which six-year-old girls aren't encouraged to be obsessed with dresses and make up, but I'm glad that I no longer live in a world in which six-year-old girls are encouraged to be obsessed with the circumference of their thighs.”

'Nuff said! Thank you, Audrey! Love your work...Oh...and happy belated birthday!


Day #5 of the week-long portion of the Jen Worden Art Challenge to draw a cartoon that depicts some portion of every day. This one is called:


Day #5 - Shopping for Art Supplies

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Stacy Alexander