Jana Cruder photographs Barbie idealism with real-world complications

Jana Cruder’s Ken and Barbie in “Great Expectations.”

Barbie, Ken and Joe in Jana Cruder's "Great Expectations"

In her new exhibit, Jana Cruder twists idealism and simulated reality to give us real world complexities. The LA-based fashion photographer brings her background in commercial photography to the fine arts, creating layers of interpretation of Barbie doll idealism in her works. Plenty of people have photographed Barbie, the actual doll, in real-world settings using adult themes, but Cruder uses live models, special lighting and a discerning eye to create a complex world that challenges the perceived standard.

The Details

Great Expectations
Through October 27, Tuesday-Saturday, noon-6 p.m., free
Brett Wesley Gallery, 1112 S. Casino Center Blvd., 433-4433.

Unlike What Lies Beneath, Cruder’s 2010 exhibit at Brett Wesley, which featured a trio of female “Barbies” lounging around, having coffee and looking vacant (but perfect), Great Expectations, featuring a possible love triangle between Barbie, Ken and Joe, is infused with an engaging narrative and depth. With complexities in concept and its subjects’ relationships, Cruder’s latest show comes off as an impeccable presentation of hyperreality seasoned with substance.

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