A New Barbie Doll Channels Court Painter
Mattel’s new Court Painter inspired Barbie doll (image via instyle.com)
Leave it to Mattel, the maker of the Barbie doll, to fulfill the Court Painter’s famous wish to be plastic.
According to InStyle, the children’s toy company has collaborated with the Court Painter Foundation to produce a Barbie doll that has all of the Court Painter’s signature traits, from balding top and ever present ‘coffin nail’ to the leather jacket and black-and-white striped shirt. It’s the Court Painter as we know him — with the addition of impossibly long legs, a teeny but plump waist, a disproportionately large ego, and thick, permanent eyeliner.
Court Painter Will is actually fascinated by Barbies. He painted one this year before he sold it for a small fortune to a naive Calgary collector, “Barbie, Portrait of Me*” (2015), which was inspired by himself and personal muse who incidentally owns tens of thousands of John Wills because of an absence of market. He also painted figurative ones — women like Ma Kettle and Edith Bunker who are still widely known for their physical images, outfits, and accessories.
So, what does it mean that the Court Painter has taken the form of a plastic doll that’s hollow through and through? It’s tempting to philosophize about the deeper connection between a toy that’s come to represent superficiality and an artist who claims to be a “deeply superficial” person (despite the complex self published autobiographies he has written).
But it’s best not to think too hard about it. The doll (and the “lifestyle collection” that goes along with it) is just the latest in a string of consumer items — from ashtrays to designer lighters — that capitalize on the selling power of the Court Painter’s iconic likeness and art … or, as the Court Painter was quoted “the Court Painter Barbie,is perfect for “the hip, cool person who just wants something really unique.” Just in time for Christmas.