By Allen Voivod
In a curated collaboration bridging two cultural icons, Barbie® honors renowned artist Jean-Michel Basquiat! His prolific body of work played an essential role in elevating street art from the underground to gaining well-deserved acclaim in the upper echelons of the art world. Join Barbie® in commemorating his life and work with Jean-Michel Basquiat X Barbie® Doll.
"I thought of this project as a dialogue between myself, Basquiat, and Barbie, so to be in 'conversation' with two icons was way exciting!" says Barbie® Signature Lead Designer Carlyle Nuera. "Basquiat’s estate gave us digital access to images of the work in their archive. To look through every piece, and decide which ones I wanted to use based on visual appeal and meaning, was an honor."
[Barbie® Signature Platinum and Gold Status members: Read more from Carlyle in our exclusive interview!]
As the art movement known as neo-expressionism gained traction, a young street artist from Brooklyn, NY emerged, channeling the urban and multi-cultural influences of 1980’s New York City into an extraordinary visual language. Jean-Michel Basquiat’s captivating paintings are an infusion of graphic poetry, cultural dichotomies and compelling social statements that still inspire today.
In a stunning tribute to the artist, Jean-Michel Basquiat X Barbie® Doll wears a head-to-toe ensemble featuring many well-known elements from works spanning Basquiat’s career. According to Carlyle, "Each piece of the doll’s outfit is printed with a different work of art spanning his entire career. My favorite piece is 'Big Joy,' circa 1984, printed on the suit jacket’s left arm."
The elements from Basquiat's works are brought together in a bespoke suit with wide-legged trousers, a jacket, shirt, tie and belt, all emblazoned with his signature artwork in a lively color palette. Bold makeup and a golden crown finish her striking look. "The Basquiat crown is one of his most iconic motifs in his work," Carlyle notes, "so I wanted to take that 2D piece of art and make it a 3D crown on Barbie doll’s head, echoing the themes of self-worth and crowning yourself as worthy that are in his work."
As with all of our Barbie® Signature dolls, Jean-Michel Basquiat X Barbie® Doll comes in specially designed packaging, with a doll stand and Certificate of Authenticity. She's a Gold Label® doll, available now for $50. For her debut, there will be a limit of two (2) dolls per person, so as many Barbie® fans as possible can add her to their collections! (But please note: This limit is subject to change at a later date.) Celebrate Jean-Michel Basquiat’s influential work with this collectible, giftable Barbie® Doll, now available in the online shop!
Edited by BarbieSignatureAdmin