Two Argentinian artists have drawn fire from several religious groups for their planned exhibition of Barbie and Ken dolls dressed as important men and women of faith.
The exhibit, “Barbie, The Plastic Religion,” is slated to open Oct. 11 in Buenos Aires, according to The Latin Times.
Pool Paolini and Marianela Perelli adapted 33 dolls to key figures from Buddhism, Catholicism, Islam, and Judaism, according to The Times.
One prominent figure in the collection is the Ken doll refigured as Jesus, complete with white cloth and crown of thorns – and depicted nailed to the cross, The Washington Times reported.
Another doll, the “Barbie Difunta Correa,” is based on a popular Argentinian “saint” not officially recognized by the Catholic Church and has garnered criticism from local Argentinians.
Daniel Rojas, of the San Juan area that is home to the sanctuary of Difunta Correa, said he was highly offended by her inclusion in the display.
“This is so out of place, this is a figure of faith which we care for very much and it is why we patented her image and name years ago,” he told local media, according to The Times.
The two artists expected controversy, they told BBC Mundo, but did not expect it from locals. They claim that the exhibit respects “all beliefs,” and did not include Muhammad because Islam forbids his depiction.
Previous work from the artists includes representations of Juan Domingo Perón and Evita and Pope Francis, among others. They have not specifically devoted entire exhibits to religious figures in the past.
“In a world where we’re rewarded for thinking, feeling and acting all the same, Marianela and Pool set themselves apart by rebelling. Through humor they highlight a fictional, historical, religious, political and universe where their elders are trapped,” their own website says of the artists, according to The Times.
It also said that “Both artists identified themselves as followers of the lowbrow art movement.”
You don’t say.
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