Is ‘Weird Barbie’ in this Rapid City artist’s exhibition?

Barbie makes her way to the Dahl Arts Center
Published: Sep. 5, 2023 at 8:25 AM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - The Barbie movie painted theaters pink, becoming a billion-dollar blockbuster. Bob H. Miller, a Rapid City artist, says that the art he created 30 years ago will now be unboxed at the Dahl Arts Center because of the film. The exhibit will be at the Rapid City Arts Center until September 21.

Miller has often hung his work at the Dahl Arts Center. He says much of it would still be in storage if it weren’t for the Barbie movie. Unlike Ken’s job...Beach Miller’s job is as a photographer.

“I was looking all over for different objects for my pieces. I used clothing, coke bottles, tools, knives, weapons and then started using Barbie dolls,” Miller explains how dolls ended up in his creations.

Do you wonder if any of these dolls were Weird Barbie?

Like Barbie’s 250 careers, Miller took the dolls on many adventures.

“So, I did these photograms. While I was doing them, I was doing other types of work. I was doing pinhole photographs; I was doing Polaroid instant photographs; and I was doing collage. Since I was working with the Barbie dolls, I started working them into other art forms,” said Miller.

We can’t blame Mattel, the creator of Barbie, for Miller’s unique photography. He doesn’t follow the rules, especially when it comes to using Barbie in art.

“So, wherever the light hits it makes the paper turn black,” Miller explains the process to get his black-and-white photograms. “If you put your hand on the paper, flip the light off and on, you expose it, and you turn the light off now you’re back in the thing. You process it. Every place the light hits turns black except where the object was.”

So, while we see what happened to Barbie in Miller’s hands, we can hope it’ll be Kenough.

If you are wondering, yes Miller has watched the Barbie movie.