Emily Anne McGillicuddy Keifer

Vintage Barbie Portrait Series

Here’s Barbie, a LA girl like me. Like LA, she’s built an authentic brand out of being “shallow.” But being shallow gets a bad rap. I’m an artist, and its my life's work to present ideas in an accessible, visual medium. I know appearance is important. Surface creates meaning.

That said, many people see themselves in Barbie- after all, being a mirror is her ultimate career. Designed as a beautiful but blank slate, Barbie's first job was simply to make young girls aspire for a life larger than 1950s era domestic bliss. With no shortage in the way of outfits, accessories, or careers, I think Barbie succeeded in that mission. She may be called "shallow," but you fill her with meaning, and that authenticity is why I choose her as a subject.

Barbie as Miss Holly Golightly

Barbie as Miss Holly Golightly


Barbie takes on the likeness of Audrey Hepburn’s most iconic role, Miss Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961). Painted on a Tiffany blue canvas, this life-size doll portrait evokes Holly’s duality of whimsy and poise recalling the lyric “Moon River, wider than a mile; I’m crossing you in style someday…”

18 x 24 inches, oil paint on canvas

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