Appropriation art has boomed since Dina Goldstein began her “Fallen Princess” photo series in 2007, which debuted at CHG Circa last Saturday. All over the world, artists seem to be re-contextualizing pop-culture characters in unfortunate situations. Goldstein’s new work may fit into this trend, but she isn’t making a commentary about Disney. As a female visual artist and pop surrealist raised in Tel Aviv, she’s taking an honest look at the challenges that modern women face. Hers is a tongue-in-cheek remark about ideals of beauty and dreams, and how that fits into real-world ‘happily ever afters’.
Dina Goldstein with her work at the opening.
Rapunzel is now going through chemo and has lost her famed long, golden hair. Snow White is a stay at home Mom with four kids, while Prince Charming watches sports on tv. We find Sleeping Beauty in a retirement home, asleep and still waiting for her true love’s kiss. Even Barbie can’t catch a break. In Goldstein’s “In the Dollhouse”, she settles into her perfect pink dollhouse with Ken, before catching him in bed with another man.
Goldstein’s images don’t stop at a smart idea. Pops of color and soft lighting make them look more like hyper realistic paintings. One can also appreciate the art direction behind her model’s static doll poses, down to the seams in their joints. So, does this mean the future of Goldstein’s woman is bleak? That depends on how the viewer defines beauty. On her Facebook page, Goldstein shares, “Disney should make a Princess with no hair so that every little girl who’s fighting cancer can feel beautiful.”
“Fallen Princesses” by Dina Goldenstein exhibits at CHG Circa from May 17th to June 14th, 2014.