Cleaning is hard! Let's go shopping!
December 29, 2011 3:10 AM   Subscribe

Barbie Trashes Her Dreamhouse is a series of photos of a Barbie-sized house, in which Barbie is a hoarder and the place is stuffed full of shopping bags, pizza boxes, newspapers, and other debris, all in realistic miniature form. It's the work of artist Carrie M. Becker, who has previously created somewhat neater scenes -- as well as some rather ominous.

Her website also features photography of abandoned farmhouses that is beautifully sad (I particularly love "Rays of Light"), and fiber sculptures that seem as if they could be growths in these abandoned, neglected homes.
posted by litlnemo (26 comments total) 59 users marked this as a favorite
Wow. I've always been amazed at how much detail people manage to pack into these things. The 'Barbie Trashes Her Dreamhouse' set is really stunning. (And I love the title!)
posted by anaximander at 3:23 AM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Wow. This is fantastic!

Except for that one room that hits a little close to home. That's a little embarrassing... I have to go tidy up!
posted by -harlequin- at 4:28 AM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

I am fascinated with hoarding and hoarders (even before the show made that fascination mainstream) and the absolute perfection in the details of all these miniatures is just astounding. Terrific work.
posted by xingcat at 4:40 AM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

I guess she didn't handle Ken's coming out and running off with post-DADT GI Joe too well.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 4:46 AM on December 29, 2011 [11 favorites]

I always thought that when Barbie trashed her dream house, it would be in fit of vodka-and-pill-induced rage. The hoarding just seems out of character for her.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:05 AM on December 29, 2011 [3 favorites]

Thank you, litlnemo. I'd been waiting for inspiration/guilt to strike and inspire me to make a really solid New Year's Resolution--and here it is. Some of those rooms look just a little too too familiar for comfort.
posted by cupcakeninja at 5:27 AM on December 29, 2011 [3 favorites]

This is creepy as fuck.
posted by kinetic at 5:35 AM on December 29, 2011 [7 favorites]

Last year I lived with some people who were borderline hoarders. This creeps the fuck out of me.

And makes me want to do some cleaning!
posted by egypturnash at 6:01 AM on December 29, 2011

I initially thought this would be a pretty fun piece of art... but no, it made me quite sad instead. Good art, though.
posted by TheMidnightHobo at 6:02 AM on December 29, 2011 [4 favorites]

These look familiar because when I shit in the toilet and it clogs, I just switch over to the tub and shit in there.
posted by P.o.B. at 6:10 AM on December 29, 2011 [5 favorites]

This was bound to happen. When your elbows are locked for eternity, there's only so much you can take.
posted by WaspEnterprises at 6:23 AM on December 29, 2011 [12 favorites]

I bought the blonde a drink, even though she didn't drink. She never stopped smiling, either, although up close, even in a dark bar, her expression looked more than a little sad and desperate beneath the thin veneer of forced cheer. She was showing me the latest additions to her portfolio--hers, that is, in the sense that she was the model; she never really did anything on the other side of the lens, even though she'd posed as a photographer, not to mention flight attendant, Army nurse, regular nurse, astronaut, President, and one of Captain Kirk's yeomen. She only ever really had one job.

"So," she said, flipping through the pages, "here's my latest gig." I had a hard time at first recognizing her dream house. My jaw dropped open a little. She chuckled at that and said, "Hey, you think that's bad, check out the bathroom." I had to look away.

She sighed. "Yeah, this one was better than most of the art school kids, but when she was done she packed up the more expensive props, told me that she'd send the check when the next installment on her grant came through, and left me to clean up most of the mess." She shrugged. "Eh, what else do I have to do? At least when Ken called during the shoot, I had an excuse not to talk to him."

"I thought you two had patched things up since you broke up?"

She laughed. You wouldn't think so to look at her, but she had that whiskey-and-cigarettes voice that's pretty sexy before it turns into something that sounds like a buzzsaw ripping through a rusty Cadillac quarter-panel. "Yeah, right. He made a big deal out of talking about moving on and forgiving ourselves and each other, but who do you think picks up the phone whenever his credit card is overdrawn and he can't buy toys to cheer himself up? He keeps trying to taunt me by talking about his fuck-buddy Joe and his 'kung-fu grip', but I tell you what, back in the day, when Ken was out trying to land a modeling gig of his own, Joe and I would do things that I think still aren't legal in this state." She looked directly at me, for the first time, and I wondered why anyone would have mistaken that gleam in her eye for good cheer.

She sighed again and picked up her purse. "Well, I gotta scoot. Another trust-fund baby is coming around tomorrow; she says that it's just going to be a quick shoot with me in a burqa, but I got a feeling that I'll end up in some bondage rig underneath it, as if her eccentric aunt didn't do the same damn thing twenty years ago. But what am I gonna do?" She gestured down at her still-impressive chest. "At least the girls still haven't let me down. Oh, well. Catch ya on the flip-flop."

She walked away, a little stiffly--she did everything a little stiffly--but I'll give her this: she never stopped smiling.
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:47 AM on December 29, 2011 [98 favorites]

Takes me back to the twisted days of my youth. My dog chewed Ken's leg off below the knee. Mom said I wasn't getting another Ken. So I had to create these story lines on how Ken lost his leg.

1. Barbie's Corvette ran him over
2. They were on safari in the Barbie RV and a big lion (aka my dog) came and took Ken away.
3. My Barbie house was a 3 floor "condo" with an elevator. Ken had an unfortunate elevator mishap.

I even put my mom's red lipstick on the end of his stump for realism.
posted by stormpooper at 7:25 AM on December 29, 2011 [11 favorites]

Halloween Jack, I want to marry you.
posted by pomegranate at 7:34 AM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

This was actually a real wake up call for me.

Tomorrow I'm getting rid of all those Barbie doll parts in the freezer so I can finally have room for ice cubes!
posted by orme at 8:16 AM on December 29, 2011 [5 favorites]

Oh YES!!

I always knew that bitch wasn't right in the head.

Halloween Jack, why aren't you at the top of the best seller list?

Off to post this to a known hoarder.
posted by BlueHorse at 10:15 AM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

I see a statement, in Ms. Beckers fantastic art, on our empty consumer society and Barbie is just an extension of that. Rather than going for a walk in the park, skating at the arena, biking or going to the museum or art gallery, most people go to the Mall for recreation. In my opinion consumerism is the major root of hoarding. Thanks for this thoughtful post.
posted by smudgedlens at 10:31 AM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm not sure who concerns me more, someone who spends their time hoarding, or someone who spends their time making a true-to-life 1/6th scale model of hoarding.
posted by tom_r at 11:53 AM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Where were the tiny dead cats? And did I see some bags of poop? There are always bags of poop!
posted by Biblio at 12:00 PM on December 29, 2011 [3 favorites]

My brain clearly saw photographs of miniatures in the 'somewhat neater' series, but the series taken after Barbie became a hoarder look so much more real.
posted by vortex genie 2 at 1:18 PM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

I am deeply impressed with Halloween Jack's vignette. It could have been—should have been—so much less than it is.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:51 PM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

I once drove by what must have been a cleanout of a hoarder's house. The garbage/junk pile in front of the house looked to be pretty close to the exact size and shape of the actual house. It was really quite impressive.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 2:09 PM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

I am building a very tiny house.
posted by es_de_bah at 2:54 PM on December 29, 2011

Where were the tiny dead cats? And did I see some bags of poop? There are always bags of poop!

There are different types of compulsive hoarding. Most hoarders actually don't hoard feces and dead animals. It's like thinking that all people with Tourette's syndrome uncontrollably curse all the time. Severe compulsive hoarding is actually quite sad and is usually a sign of severe mental illness or a traumatic past.

As for the post itself, those pictures are amazingly detailed and are actually quite remarkable. As a reformed hoarder, looking at those pictures brings a few twinges of sadness relating to my past. Someone who lives like that, feels like that on the inside too.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 7:31 PM on December 29, 2011 [2 favorites]

I'm kind of blown away by the power of MeFi. Right after I posted this, there were 395 views of that photoset on Flickr. Now? 14,351 views. Dang.
posted by litlnemo at 7:36 PM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Halloween Jack's tale of a chance encounter flagged as fantastic (sidebarsidebarsidebar).

I wonder how long it took her to create? And in the comments on one of the pictures she said she "struck the sets" right after "the shoot". Loved that!
posted by likeso at 8:15 AM on December 30, 2011

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