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ART, DESIGN & BARBIE
THE EVOLUTION OF A CULTURAL ICON

celebrates the impact of the world's most popular doll on our culture. In addition to lively essays by noted historian Valerie Steele, the book holds choice illustrations of historic Barbie dolls and of Barbie art created by contemporary artists, architects, and designers.


read Introduction from ART, DESIGN & BARBIE
REGINALD CASE -- Art, Design and Barbie
Featured Artist

Biography courtesy of The Reading Public Museum, Reading, PA
As a boy growing up in Watertown in upstate New York, Reginald Case was a frequent visitor to the town's six movie theaters where he viewed such films in the early 1940's as Bambi, Lassie Come Home, and Meet Me in St. Louis. His love of the films was matched by fascination with the architectural grandeur of the movie palaces and with the attendant promotional art in Life, Look, and The New York Times. His 1980's-90's work in assemblage, collage and construction is a fusion of early influences of film, photography and architecture. The dazzling works unite theme and materials and represent a significant advance over the random and unfocused appropriation of film subject matter by Andy Warhol and other pop artists of the 1960's and 1970's.

Case received a stong training in art at the State University of New York, Buffalo, San Francisco State University and Boston University where he studied with Peter Busa, Walter Murch, and Robert Gwathmey. After receiving his MFA from Boston University, he taught at Phillips Exeter Academy and Norfolk State College. At this time, he completed a series of large still-life paintings which extended the imagery of Giorgio Morandi by elongating vessels and vases, transforming them into architectonic towers. Since it was not possible to include everything he wished in these still-lifes, Case began to use photographic images in collages. Marcel Duchamp legitimized for Case the borrowing and incorporation of others' art into his own work. References, both direct and indirect, to surrealist masters Rene Magritte, Joseph Cornell and John Graham are evident in these imaginative reinterpretations.


#375 "Barbie On Unicorn"
Mixed media assemblage



#376 "Barbie Wedding Cake"
Mixed media assemblage, 64" x 46" x 36"
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#376 "Barbie Wedding Cake"
Mixed media assemblage, 64" x 46" x 36"

In the early 1970's Case began to utilize American folk art imagery in his collages, which overlapped with the surrealist sources. Case was moving further away from conventional approaches to collage, gradually adding other materials to photographs such as fabric trimming and light-reflecting mylar paper. This process led to an affirmation of an art of inclusion, rather than exclusion, with more complex architectural constructions which emphasized the balance and organization of classical forms. Likewise, his range of materials expanded to incorporate borders and fringes of fabric, sequins, glitter, feathers, gold-braid, marbles, balls, bells, rods, mylar stars, beads, jewelry and electric lights. His elaborately decorated surfaces of varying colors raise the often garish materials into the realm of high art. The bright and sparkling elements are given solidarity by their strategic architectonic placement and juxtaposition with pilasters, pediments, and colonnades.



1. "Barbie Wedding Cake" is an outstanding creation featured in the recent exhibition, Art, Design and Barbie.
2. A close-up of "Barbie Wedding Cake" showing the incredible detail.


3. Reg's "Barbie On Unicorn" was also chosen for Art, Design and Barbie.
4. "Elvis and Barbie" is exceptional. Notice the detail of Reg's designs.


5. This fabulous piece is entitled "Barbie's 12 Days of Christmas" and incorporates twelve 1995 Holiday Barbie dolls!
6. Full length shot of some of Reg's creations.


"Barbie Wedding Cake"



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