Barbie Goes to Art Basel in Miami Beach

Barbie in front of a Koons sculpture at the Whitney. Photo: Instagram/@Barbiestyle/Mattel

Barbie has been many things over the course of her almost 60-year (but never a day over 25) lifespan. She’s managed to glide effortlessly between careers as a doctor, a teacher, a fashion model, and even a Trekkie. The one thing she’s never done? Attend Art Basel Miami Beach.

But all that is about to change. This year, Mattel is shipping the unattainably glamorous doll off to engage in a week of art and hedonism, which will be documented on her Instagram account @barbiestyle. If you’re unfamiliar with Barbie’s social media presence, the account launched in August and has already amassed 460,000 followers by posting images of Barbie at a Chloe fashion show, shopping at Barney’s in Beverly Hills, and yes, attending the Jeff Koons retrospective at the Whitney.

Setting aside the fact that Mattel’s desire to get in on the Basel action probably means the whole charade is way beyond “over,” let’s brainstorm for a moment. Which of her revolving door of personas might Barbie don for the ultimate art world kludge? Art Collector Barbie in a miniature Prada outfit would be an easy one to pull off, but Vaguely Art-Inclined Socialite seems more realistic. Thinking outside the box, there’s always Terrified Emerging Artist Barbie, Aggressive Art Dealer Barbie, or even Underwhelmed Critic Barbie. We’d personally love to see a Harried Art Journalist Barbie, underdressed and attempting to write an article on her iPhone, but we won’t hold our breath for that one.

Whoever you are, Barbie, we look forward to seeing you in Miami. We’ll save you a mimosa.


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