MOSCOW, October 11 (RIA Novosti) - A controversial art exhibit with a provocative name, “Barbie: The Plastic Religion", which was supposed to feature the iconic fashion dolls as religious figures at the POPA gallery in Buenos Aires, has been cancelled in order “not to offend people”, AP has reported on Saturday.
The exhibit by Emiliano Paolini and Marianela Perelli had been scheduled to open on Saturday and display Barbie and her boyfriend Ken dressed up as, for example, the Virgin Mary and a crucified Jesus Christ, respectfully.
But due to numerous complaints and threats from angry believers, the artists have decided to cancel the display.
"We have received threats from various parts of the world," AP quotes Paolini as saying by telephone. "It's crazy ... they have misinterpreted our work."
The collection was set of 33 pieces, including Barbie dolls dressed as the Virgin of Guadalupe, patron saint of Mexico, and Joan of Arc, as well as a blue Kali, the many-armed Hindu goddess of destruction. Along with Christ on the cross, Ken is also portrayed as Buddha, St. Sebastian and the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Paolini said he and Perelli chose the popular fashion doll for the project because "religion always represents virgins with the most beautiful women; today the most beautiful woman is Barbie."
The prevailing concept of beauty is often reflected in portraits of the Virgin Mary, who was portrayed with a more robust figure in Michelangelo's time and a more stylized one during the Middle Ages, the artists are quoted as saying.
The organizers, however, insist on being highly religious themselves. Paolini says he has the word "Dios" (God) tattooed on his hand, and Perelli wears a necklace featuring the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe.
"We have a sanctuary in the kitchen that has more saints than the Vatican," Paolini is quoted as saying.