Interview: The Star Book magazine - 2014

 

Did you play with barbies when you were a child?

 

Yes.

Dolls make children to have beautiful dreams, and grow their awareness of being women, it is like an initiation ritual for all of us.

Much of my production unfolds in the register of the imaginary.

In this series of photographs I use my visual image of those fetishes of my childhood but transform them into an oniric vision of eroticism with the tools of my art, color, composure, photographic texture, all that.

 

In recent years photographers fantasize about Barbie life in real world, about Disney princess in real world. We have photos, which destroy fairytale?

 

Yes, Barbies were the ideal of beauty mums wanted to teach their kids. As an artist I want to tease the audience adding an eroticism to that icon of the ideal suburban woman of the fifties … using strong colors and distorted compositions that break that fairy tale.

 

Many parents dislike Barbie doll for her implausible figure. She's too skinny. Girls want to be like their dolls. They impose stereotypes. We come back to the problem of anorexia. Do you want to portray Barbie with a figure of more close to reality?

 

At all times we find people, both men and women, considered very beautiful, according to the canon of beauty of their respective eras, mostly overweight women, from the Venus of Willendorf, Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty in Greek mythology to Brigitte Bardot in the 50s under the canon of French beauty. )

 Only recently the myth of the fit, slim woman, has provoked in the female young audience the idea that being thin is beautiful. So the barbies were indeed the first prototype of thin women in the doll industry.

 

Please, tell about first Barbie photo? Why did you choose this doll?

 

 

I chose a broken composition, to reveal only a part of the doll, so the audience has to complete the figure with his imagination so in him resides the hidden eroticism of the photographs; also in the warm colors and strong lines so opposed to the sweet, neutral image conveyed by the 3 dimensional dolls as they were conceived by their designers.

 

Photographers often make erotic photo for AD campaigns, fashion magazines. Sex sells well. Do you think people ever get tired of the naked body?

 

The exploitation of the naked body for a commercial purpose is different from the art of the human figure, of which people never get tired, because it is the maximal expression of love and beauty,  though the line between both often blurs.

 

It seems to me, make provocative or sexy photo with a full dressed model more difficult. For example, famous pictures of Monroe or Hepburn. They are dressed, but they are very seductive. Why now do not make such photos?

 

Precisely because they exploit the human body only to sell a consumption product. But there are still artists which create seduction with clothing and excellent photographers of fashion art who know how to enhance the female figure with the textile´s textures and forms.

 

Now all are obsessed photography. Every day people take pictures, share them. Anyone can call themselves a photographer. Would you like to be in a time when people rarely photographed?

 

On the contrary, it is refreshing that so many people now have access to high technology as it liberates their creative capacities to express their emotions.

If Warhol said that everybody deserves 15 minutes of fame in his life, I truly believe everybody has many feelings in his soul that he reflects beautifully in his home pictures.

But the professional adds his technique and creativity that still differentiates his craft as a work of art.

 

 

 

Text by Román Gubern for The Exhibition of Romy Querol

 

     Ovid recounts that Pygmalion fell madly in love with his sculpture of a woman, Galatea, and to indulge him Venus granted her the gift of life. At times photography is capable of working a similar sort of transfiguration. Today we know that what in its historical beginnings was called the “mirror of nature” can sometimes transcend its merely specular function. The British anthropologist Edward B. Tylor invented the concept and the word “animism” to describe the vital energy residing in certain inanimate objects, according to the beliefs of different primitive cultures. Primitive and modern cultures, we might add, given our own experience, since for both boys and girls the lead soldiers and the dolls we (respectively) played with were living subjects, not just representational objects.

 

     Of dolls we know that they are extremely ancient simulacra. In our Western culture dolls were initially simulacra used to educate little girls in their future function as mothers. This held true until March 1959 when a New York company began marketing the Barbie doll, which opted for the eroticization of the simulacrum. Henceforth, its infantile pedagogy would be not aimed at the future mother but at the future temptress.

 

     This lengthy preamble serves as an introduction to the exceptional collection of photos by Romy Querol, who with her skill in framing and lighting has laid bare, never better said, the erotic appeal of these little artefacts we call dolls, which, shuttling back and forth across the narrow frontier between the animate and the inanimate.

You need a lot of visual talent and sensibility to carry out the optical metamorphosis performed by the camera of Romy Querol, who with her framing and lighting turns inert matter into an object of desire, for in her existential experience she has learnt that eroticism is the art of suggestion. An uncommon visual intelligence subtends her educated gaze when interrogating, with equanimity, the forms of our everyday surroundings.

 

     With her sexualized dolls, Romy Querol brings up, here, the old issue of narcissistic object-choice. A consummate lesson, this, in the status of erotic play, which she has learned from life and from observing the objects of the world that surrounds her. This fresh vision of a very common object—the child’s doll—is tantamount to an ethic and aesthetic rereading, not only of human simulacra in miniature, but of the global ambiguities concealed in our everyday visual environment.

 

                                                                                                                       Román Gubern

Texto de Román Gubern para la serie de fotografías erotismo plástico de Romy Querol

                   

     Cuenta Ovidio que Pigmalión se enamoró perdidamente de su escultura femenina, llamada Galatea, y Venus le concedió el don de la vida para complacerle.

 

      En ocasiones, la fotografía es capaz de obrar una transfiguración similar. Ahora sabemos que la que fue llamada en sus inicios históricos “espejo de la naturaleza” puede a veces trascender su función meramente especular. El antropólogo británico Edward B. Tylor creó el concepto y la palabra “animismo” para designar la energía vital que habita en ciertos objetos inanimados, según la creencia de algunas culturas primitivas. Primitivas y modernas, debemos añadir a la luz de nuestra experiencia actual los soldaditos de plomo con los que han jugado tradicionalmente los niños, y las muñecas de las niñas, que eran para ellos y ellas sujetos vitales, no meras representaciones objetuales.

 

      En nuestra cultura occidental, las muñecas fueron inicialmente simulacros que servían para educar a las niñas en sus futuras funciones de madre. Esto fue así hasta que en marzo de 1959 una empresa lanzó al mercado desde Nueva York la muñeca Barbie, que apostó por la erotización del simulacro. En adelante, su pedagogía infantil no se dirigiría a la futura madre sino a la futura seductora.

 

      Valga esta prólija introducción para presentar la excepcional colección de fotografías de Romy Querol, que con su habilidad en el encuadre y en la iluminación ha puesto al desnudo, nunca mejor dicho, el atractivo erótico de estos artefactos infantiles que llamamos muñecas y que transitan por la delgada frontera de lo animado y lo inanimado.

 

      Hace falta mucho talento visual y mucha sensibilidad óptica para llevar a cabo la metamorfosis óptica ejecutada por la cámara de Romy Querol, quien con sus encuadres y sus iluminaciones convierte la materia inerte en objeto de deseo, pues ha aprendido en sus experiencias existenciales que el erotismo es el arte de la sugerencia. Una inteligencia visual poco común subyace en su mirada educada en interrogar, sin prejuicios, a las formas del entorno cotidiano.

 

      Romy Querol nos replantea aquí con sus muñecas sexuadas la vieja cuestión del narcisismo objetual. Toda una consumada lección acerca del estatuto del juego erótico que ha aprendido de la vida y de la observación de los objetos del mundo que le rodea. Esta nueva visión de un objeto muy común –las muñecas infantiles- equivale a una relectura ética y estética, no sólo de unos simulacros humanos en miniatura, sino de los equívocos globales agazapados en el entorno visual cotidiano que nos rodea.

 

 

      Román Gubern

Román Gubern (catedrático de comunicación audiovisual)

Miembro de la Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Madrid.  

Miembro de la New York Academy of Sciences.

Miembro de la American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Miembro del Comité de Honor de la International Association for Visual Semiotics.

Doctor Honoris Causa por la Universidad Carlos III, Madrid )  

 

 

Plastic Eroticism

 

     My work uses Barbie doll, an icon of the conservative culture - which in so many ways represents the opposite way of life to the free ad lib world of Ibiza where I live... Thus, I transform her appearance, as a critical metaphor to express the need for change in a world once more dominated by the puritan ideologies Barbie Doll symbolized, which are regressing back the Evolution of the human spirit.

 

     Accordingly, in my first exhibit I played with the conformism of Barbie, stripping the doll and teaching her a whole new world of meanings and pleasures.

 

     In this exhibit the allegory changes: we contradict the materialistic concept of the happy 'American way of life' the doll portrayed.

 

     Thus we are transforming now the doll into a spiritual symbol of purity, placing her along the stone figures - Neolithic Mother Goddeses and Religious Virgins - found across the island.

Both in its genuine beauty symbolize a natural purity, opposite to Barbie's original settings among kitchenettes filled with electric appliances -the perfect Stepford, plastic wife of the 50s...

 

     Romy Querol

 

 

Erotismo Plástico

 

    Mi obra utiliza un icono de la cultura moderna, la muñeca barbie, para expresar las contradicciones entre la cultura mediterránea, vital y sensual propia de la isla de Ibiza donde resido y la cultura americana, simbólica, basada en ideales  a menudo engañosos. En tal sentido la muñeca barbie representaba un ideal de pureza y felicidad, propio de el 'american way of life' de la postguerra con sus 'stepford wife' de matrimonios felices. En mi primera exposición jugué con esa simbología contradiciéndola al buscar el erotismo de las muñecas barbie, en consonancia con el free “ad lib” style de la isla de Ibiza.

     

     En esta exposición el simbolismo es el inverso. Las muñecas barbie recuperan su pureza virginal, junto a las efigies religiosas de piedra, de la isla de Ibiza, que también intenta recuperar su pureza ecológica, primaria, de su primera edad neolítica, cuando era un centro de la cultura de la diosa madre. La piedra símbolo de la naturaleza es el marco que envuelve a las vírgenes barbie de esta exposición, una pureza mucho mas real que en cierto modo aísla y desnuda el simbolismo artificioso del producto barbie original.

 

      Romy Querol

ROMY QUEROL.com  Artista

LA SENSUALIDAD DEL POP ART

 

Vive entre Ibiza, Londres y Barcelona.

Le dio la vuelta al icono de la Barbie y sus obras ya se han expuesto en ARCO Madrid,  BASEL Hong Kong, Shanghai,  Abu Dhabi,  Barcelona e Ibiza.

 

En su obra “La Sensualidad Plástica del Pop Art” la artista multidisciplinar  Romy Querol  utiliza un icono kitsch  de la cultura retro americana, las muñecas Barbie a través de las cuales reflexiona sobre la percepción de las cosas. En su afán de buscar infinitas formas de experimentar con el arte y de investigar como una parte más del sistema creativo logra con éxito integrar nuestra conciencia con nuestras sensaciones. En una de las recientes exposiciones realizadas en Ibiza, la artista presentó una secuencia de vídeos cuya combinación de imágenes y, especialmente, de sonidos creaban un relato erótico que provocaban todo tipo de emociones. Sus instalaciones audiovisuales, sus seductoras fotografías, y sus esculturas lumínicas con tubos de neón se ocupan a menudo del tema de la belleza y su fugacidad y logra mostrar obras de arte que hablan de las percepciones culturales sexuales de la actualidad.

 

Para Romy Querol el arte puede transformar cualquier objeto y darle un nuevo significado, así una Barbie de plástico puede ser erótica, con ese poder de moldear las formas, con el espíritu subjetivo del autor. En sus obras el color es la clave de esa transformación. Esa disparidad entre estilo y contenido se vuelve así una parábola que nos hace meditar sobre las contradicciones del mundo en que vivimos. Tienen pues una ambivalencia de significados que lo hacen un objeto útil  para un comentario artístico sobre el mundo actual.

 

Una artista llena de multitud de influencias diferentes, que van desde Duchamp, Rauschemberg, Richard Hamilton, Hockney, Warhol  o la iconoclastia de Johns  a  Murakami, Saint Phalle o Daan Roosegaarde.

all pictures and videos are copyright protected © 2014-2020 Romy Querol 

a website by: www.ecomedia-ibiza.com