Hoarding Barbie


I’d always assumed that our gal Barbie had a home as spotless as her appearance. After all, being a fashion icon and celebrity demands a perpetual focus on image and style. But St. Louis-based photographer/artist Carrie M. Becker sees things a little differently.

Becker gives us a glimpse into Barbie’s home here on her Flickr account. Called “Barbie Trashes Her Dreamhouse”, Becker’s installation depicts, in 1/16th scale, what appears to be a hoarder’s typical decor: piles of bags, random papers, empty cups, grimy and cluttered surfaces, heaps of clothing, storage bins and box after box after box.

Most photos of hoarders’ spaces trigger repugnance and disgust, but the comments on Becker’s work have been consistently positive. “Amazing” and “awesome” appear repeatedly. One visitor even wanted to know how she made the teeny brown paper bags. (Becker says she shrunk a template for a paper bag down to 1/16th of its original size.)

Becker told Bust magazine that her inspiration came from watching too many “Hoarders” episodes. I suspect her work’s appeal is that the joke is on the viewer. We initially feel disgust and maybe sympathy for someone afflicted with an obsessive compulsive disorder–but then realize the entire environment we see is artificial and has been manipulated to trigger those feelings. We then feel relief that no such full-size home exists and can marvel at the creativity and steady hands that crafted what is art instead of a cry for help.

Do you find these pictures entertaining or disturbing–or both?

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About organizesf

Professional organizer June Bell (www.organizesf.com) combats clutter and chaos with sage advice, tested techniques and good humor.
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