Barbie and Ken might seem a little outdated to the youth of today, but traditional dolls will likely always have a place in playrooms worldwide. But what happens to the plastic people when the kids are grown? Australian artist Freya Jobbins rescues these specimens from their fates in a landfill and transforms their components into frighteningly expressive faces.
Her amalgamations are weird, but not without precedent. Jobbins lists quite a range of inspirations on her site--Ron Mueck’s "big man," Gunther Von Hagens’s plasticized corpses (of "Body Worlds" fame), and the Toy Story films--but perhaps the most striking similarities can be found in the work of Giuseppe Arcimboldo, the 16th-century Italian painter who cobbled together everything from veggies to flowers to books to create his own surreal portraits. Both styles necessitate a closer look, but there’s something equal parts creepy and--call me crazy--kind of kinky about Jobbins’s 3-D visages, with their careful selection of flesh-toned artificial body parts nestled together into freaky, surreal musculatures.
Jobbins has even given pop culture icons like Darth Vader and Terminator-era Arnold her signature doll-parts treatment, and like the rest of her work, they have that same car-crash rubberneck appeal: tough to look at but difficult to turn away.