Limited Edition Andy Warhol Barbie Hits the Shelves
The artist depicted the doll in a 1986 painting.
Would Andy Warhol have approved of a Barbie doll made in his likeness? The Andy Warhol Foundation certainly thinks so, and has teamed up with American toy manufacturer Mattel to produce a new doll reminiscent of the legendary pop artist.
The limited edition doll goes for about $150. It’s dressed in a black leather biker jacket, black skinny jeans, and black sunglasses. Her hair is styled in Warhol’s trademark white mop, and her accessories include paintbrushes, colors, a tiny Polaroid camera, and a miniature of Warhol’s Barbie painting.
Indeed, the artist created paintings of the famous doll. His 1986 painting Barbie, Billy Boy depicts Barbie with thick blond hair and big blue eyes against a light blue background. Warhol later made a second version of the piece, titled Barbie, with a red background.
The blue version sold at auction at Christie’s, London in October 2014 for £722,500 ($1,161,780).
The portraits were reportedly inspired by Warhol’s 23-year-old muse Billy Boy, a jewelry designer and member of New York’s downtown scene in the 1980s, who owned a vast collection of Barbie dolls.
The BBC’s Hannah Moore, wrote “To [Warhol] and others, Barbie is the perfect symbol of glamour, fun, superficiality and consumerism. A plastic face to represent not just his friend Billy Boy, but something deeper about Western culture.”
Today, a version of Warhol’s Barbie painting hangs in Mattel’s headquarters in El Segundo, California. “Our partnership with the Andy Warhol Foundation celebrates fashion, pop-culture and self expression—things both brands are synonymous with,” Mattel senior vice president and general manager of Barbie, Evelyn Mazzocco told InStyle.
Warhol famously said “I love plastic. I want to be plastic.” With this partnership, it seems like his quote was taken to its logical conclusion—and just in time for the holidays, too.
Follow Artnet News on Facebook:
Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.