Larry Torno
American, Lives and works in St. Louis, Missouri.
The new series began during the summer of 2007 when Larry Torno was offered the opportunity to photograph an extensive collection of a vintage American toy: the renowned Barbie Doll. By experimenting with composition and light, the artist infuses personalities into otherwise lifeless plastic, and the photos of the famous figure evolve from simple documentation to a kind of portraiture. Although it is impossible to deny the semblance of personality that Torno has captured in these photographs, he explains that these images are not truly portraits because the human qualities necessary to impart insight into character are absent in the plastic figurines. The spectator may have a hard time believing this, however, given the convincing attitude and ambiance accompanying the icon. His photographs are enhanced by Barbie's breadth of genre and depth of style, as there is always another posh model waiting for her close-up. Through these vivid images of the timeless figure, Torno liberates Barbie from her box and places her again into the realm of the imagination.

The artist photographed the collection of St. Louis local Frank Chross, and the show correlates with the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Barbie Doll. Barbie, created by Mattel co-founder Ruth Handler, was unveiled at the American Toy Fair in New York on March 9, 1959.

Copyright 2009 © Bruno David Gallery, Inc., and Larry Torno. All rights reserved. The copyright of all art presented belongs to Bruno David Gallery, Inc. and to the individual artist. No part of these images may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of Bruno David Gallery, Inc. under penalty of the law.

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