Mariel Clayton is an artist who describes herself as a 'Doll Photographer with a subversive sense of humour'. Using Barbie dolls and Japanese miniatures as her primary medium and subject, she creates dioramic images full of detail and black humour as a means of commentating on contemporary society and it's stereotypes.
Inspired by current events, pop culture, music and even paper, her images are meant to be at the same time meaningful and meaningless, to be used as a conduit for interpretation by the viewer. She maintains that it is the viewers response and the thought process that leads to it which are the most important. At the very least, it is nothing more than an excuse for a good laugh.
Mariel Clayton has a decidedly unique style – and more than a little of what some may call, ‘a dark side’. Laboriously concocting twisted scenes of murder, rape, child abuse and torture with, Barbie dolls, Clayton has won as many accolades for his work as he has gasps of horror and disapproval, so – he must be doing something right.
In describing his work Mariel says - I’ve always been fascinated by the inner machinations of peoples minds. I’m intrigued by sociopathy and the whole outer facade/inner workings concept and how the two don’t always correspond. Barbie, as the ultimate stereotypical feminine icon just seems to lend herself to an alternate portrayal. I think because she has been idolised as the epitome of everything that is ‘good’ about being female, being sweet and docile and taciturn etc...
She has been sanitised to the point where she has absolutely no pesonality whatsoever, so she just seemed to be the perfect model to explore the idea of this hidden evil.