Mariel Clayton - ‘Organically Warped’ - Alley of the Dolls
Much ink has been spilled about the Barbie doll and its effect on the impressionable young girls who adore it. They’re said to foster the wafer-thin ideal body type and impact on body image later on in life. Somewhere on the fringes of all this talk, apart from all the scientific studies, is a photographic one carried out by Mariel Clayton, who takes an unexpected, almost laughably bizarre approach to all the doom-and-gloom chatter.
It started out with a camera and a major interest in travel photography, but a sublime encounter in a Tokyo toy shop led me into the surreal world of Japanese miniatures, and ultimately to the stories that could be told with them. Since I started working with dolls, I have grown more and more to appreciate what can be done with them, how the smallest gesture or placement seems to convey volumes. Also, I happen to think it’s a damn funny medium. I can’t explain how my mind works, or why these ideas come to it.
Check back for more of these cheeky scenes from the “puppeteer,” whose flights of fancy often have Barbie totally morphed into a binging, crazed, psychopath / murderess / dominatrix etc.!