Doll Photographer Reimagines Barbie and Ken as Soviet Civilians Living in the USSR

 

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Barbie usually enjoys a luxurious life in her Malibu Dreamhouse, but a recent photoshoot by Russian “doll photographer” Lara Vychuzhanina sees the iconic toy living in an entirely different way of life. The artist crafted a true-to-life diorama of a Soviet-era apartment kitchen, revealing what Barbie would look like if she lived in the former USSR circa 1986.

Working with real photographs as a reference, Vychuzhanina manages the capture the style of the Soviet world in incredible detail. The delightfully nostalgic, 60 x 40 x 50cm (23.6 x 15.7 x 19.6 inch) model apartment features plastic pots, pans, and kitchen appliances that Vychuzhanina scuffed up to look as though they’re old and rusting. The meticulous artist even printed out scaled-downed food labels and stuck them onto tiny boxes and cans, and the table is laid out with a simple breakfast.

Barbie—dressed in a bathrobe and her hair wrapped in a towel—is posed hanging up her underwear on a clothesline, while Ken reads the Pravda newspaper (formerly the official newspaper of the Communist Party) at the table and another figure (perhaps Barbie’s mother) is seen washing up the dishes in the background. The entire scene is impressively believable—it’s even naturally lit from behind the hand-crafted diorama window.

A commercial photographer by trade, Vychuzhanina began staging photo shoots with dolls in 2013. “My hobby is a symbiosis of [my] love for dolls and love for photos,” she says. “Dolls are the best models. They are the heroines of my photos. I’m not shooting fashion, I’m shooting stories. [Dolls] are not capricious; they are silent; they always look good; they do not freeze in the winter in a dress. In general, it is pleasant to work with them.”

Russian “doll photographer” Lara Vychuzhanina's images see Barbie and Ken travel back in time, to the former USSR.

 

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The artist crafted a true-to-life miniature diorama of a Soviet-era apartment, complete with nostalgic details.

 

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She even scuffed up plastic pots, pans, and furniture to make them look as though they’re old and rusting.

 

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Lara Vychuzhanina: Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest
h/t: [this isn’t happiness]

All images via Lara Vychuzhanina.

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Emma Taggart

Emma Taggart is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. Originally from Northern Ireland, she is an artist now based in Berlin. After graduating with a BA in Fashion and Textile Design in 2013, Emma decided to combine her love of art with her passion for writing. Emma has contributed to various art and culture publications, with an aim to promote and share the work of inspiring modern creatives. While she writes every day, she’s also devoted to her own creative outlet—Emma hand-draws illustrations and is currently learning 2D animation.

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