A figurative painter with an ongoing interest in women’s issues and contemporary social dynamics, Drown the Dolls continues Title’s lifelong exploration of concerns dealing with female body consciousness and girlhood, as well as present day ideals of physical perfection.
Using the iconic image of Barbie™ as her muse, Title appropriates the ideals of female perfection thrust upon society via the plastic playmate. Title explains, “…[Barbie is a] 50 year old icon that women hate to love and love to hate…everyone seems to have their own Barbie story. Viewers can use their unique experiences with Barbie to interpret the paintings in their own way.”
Each work in Title’s painting and photographic series portrays a doll fully submerged in water, seemingly drowning while maintaining her trademark composure. She is either floating alone or wholly dunked by a smiling young girl on the brink of pubescence. The images capture the influential time in every girl’s formative years: the brief period between childhood and adolescence where innocent young girls become fully aware of the intense pressure to achieve perfection. “The work literally shoves her in our faces, the same way society shoves this ideal at us,” Title states.
The series speaks to how women see themselves reflected in Barbie’s image. Barbie’s plastic smile, flowing blonde locks and unrealistic proportions represent the quixotic view of women that society has come to objectify. The drowning dolls serve as a metaphor for the female subconscious:
Title’s fascination with feminist themes began while she was a high school student, coming of age at the dawn of the feminist movement. Her ideals drastically shifted during high school, where she transitioned from cheerleader to feminist in one short year. As an adult, Title continues her constant examination of women’s roles and representations in society.
Drown the Dolls will celebrate its launch at Koplin Del Rio on January 8, 2011, with a cocktail reception and artist’s remarks from Title. The exhibition will remain on display through February 19, 2011.
Title’s work will also be included in a group exhibition at the Long Beach Museum of Art, titled Influential Element: Exploring the Impact of Water, from January 14-April 3, 2011. For more information about Drown the Dolls, please visit www.daenatitle.com.
About Daena Title
Daena Title was born in Manhattan in 1957 and was raised in Long Island, New York. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and in Theatre Studies from Wellesley College in 1979, and lived in Manhattan until 1991. Title currently resides in Los Angeles and has shown her work in gallery and museum spaces since 1998, including recent group exhibitions at the Torrance Art Museum and the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art. She has received critical praise for past solo exhibitions from the Los Angeles Times and the LA Weekly, among other publications. Title’s artwork resides in a number of prominent private collections.