In Pictures: See Surrealist Artist Mark Ryden’s Cheerfully Unsettling New Barbie Dolls, Set to Debut in L.A This Week

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When it was announced last week that Mattel was teaming up to launch a limited-edition, collectable line of Barbie dolls with painter Mark Ryden, the so-called “godfather of Pop Surrealism,” the pairing made an unexpected kind of sense.

This Friday, fans get their first chance to get their hands on the special art Barbies at a pop-up in L.A. put on by Kasmin, Ryden’s gallery. The exhibition features a 1994 work, , which shows a young girl piously praying to a divine Barbie. Today it is one of Ryden’s best known works. For the “Pink Pop” show, the artist is also debuting a new series of paintings, drawings, and sculptures.

“Barbie has made appearances in my art for a long time,” Ryden said in a statement. “It is difficult to define Barbie. She is a cultural phenomenon, an archetypal figure. She is a bona fide celebrity, a subject worthy for Andy Warhol to portray alongside the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe.”

A centerpiece of the collaboration is “Nature Queen Barbie,” a one-of-a-kind figurine with chartreuse hair and a dress sprouting a bouquet of animal heads, as well as a gold crown.

Nature Queen is the centerpiece of the “Pink Pop” exhibit by Mark Ryden X Barbie. Image courtesy of Mattel Creations.

Nature Queen is the centerpiece of the “Pink Pop” exhibit by Mark Ryden X Barbie. Image courtesy of Mattel Creations.

Nature Queen is the centerpiece of the “Pink Pop” exhibit by Mark Ryden X Barbie. Image courtesy of Mattel Creations.

As for the more collectable Ryden-themed Barbies, notable is “Bee Barbie,” who wears a bee-striped fur dress and hood, and has bee wings and a deathly pale face. “She’s sweeter than nectar and deep like a sting,” the Mattel Creations site enthuses. “Bee Barbie” is $150.

Barbie Bee Doll is part of the limited edition Mark Ryden X Barbie collection. Image courtesy of Mattel Creations.

Barbie Bee Doll is part of the limited edition Mark Ryden X Barbie collection. Image courtesy of Mattel Creations.

Certificate for Barbie Bee Doll

Certificate for Barbie Bee Doll. Image courtesy of Mattel Creations.

The signature product of the Mark Ryden x Barbie collab is likely the “Pink Pop Barbie,” awash in Barbie-core synthetic pink. With candy-stripe stockings and a purse in the form of a T-bone steak, the doll is accompanied by a pet yak and a goony, sentient flower pot. It is $350.

Pink Pop Barbie Doll set

Pink Pop Barbie Doll is part of the limited edition Mark Ryden X Barbie collection. Image courtesy of Mattel Creations.

Mark Ryden X Barbie collection

Pink Pop Barbie Doll is part of the limited edition Mark Ryden X Barbie collection. Image courtesy of Mattel Creations.

Detail of Pink Pop Barbie Doll from the Mark Ryden X Barbie collection

Detail of Pink Pop Barbie Doll from the Mark Ryden X Barbie collection. Image courtesy of Mattel Creations.

Pink Pop Barbie Doll 1

Detail of Pink Pop Barbie Doll from the Mark Ryden X Barbie collection. Image courtesy of Mattel Creations.

Yak from the Mark Ryden X Barbie collection

Yak from the Mark Ryden X Barbie collection. Image courtesy of Mattel Creations.

Flower pot from the Mark Ryden X Barbie collection

Flower pot from the Mark Ryden X Barbie collection. Image courtesy of Mattel Creations.

Higher up the price scale is the “Mark Ryden x Barbie at the Surrealist Ball” set, which goes for $500. It features two dolls, each with cropped bangs and a dress studded with surreal motifs. One has an orb on her head; the other, a star.

The set also comes with an occult-like pedestal with a dodecahedron studded with glazed, starring eyes.

Black and White Surrealist Ball Dolls

Black and White Surrealist Ball Dolls is part of the limited edition Mark Ryden X Barbie collection. Image courtesy of Mattel Creations.

Black and White Surrealist Ball Dolls 2

One of the dolls part of the Black and White Surrealist Ball Doll set from the Mark Ryden X Barbie collection. Image courtesy of Mattel Creations.

Black and White Surrealist Ball Dolls 3

One of the dolls part of the Black and White Surrealist Ball Doll set from the Mark Ryden X Barbie collection. Image courtesy of Mattel Creations.

Black and White Surrealist Ball Dolls pedestal

The Surrealist pedestal from the Black and White Surrealist Ball Doll set from the Mark Ryden X Barbie collection. Image courtesy of Mattel Creations.

A variety of merch related to the collection ranges from a $50 Mark Ryden x Barbie “Bee Brooch” and a $60 “Pink Pop Umbrella” up to a $300 Mark Ryden x Barbie “Pink Pop Purse.”

Mark Ryden X Barbie pin

Mark Ryden X Barbie pin. Image courtesy of Mattel Creations.

Mark Ryden X Barbie pins

Selection of pins from the Mark Ryden X Barbie collection. Image courtesy of Mattel Creations.

Mark Ryden X Barbie umbrella. Image courtesy of Mattel Creations.

Mark Ryden X Barbie handbag. Image courtesy of Mattel Creations.

The full capsule and accessories are available to purchase exclusively at Kasmin for one week before they open to the broader Barbie-collecting public from November 18.

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