Thursday, July 8, 2010

Press Release: Elroy Artspace Curates Barbie-inspired Fine Art in “The Girl of Summer” Group Show at The Original Restaurant, Opening Reception on Augusts’ First Thursday Artwalk


Media Contact:  Joe Staskerz, Owner, Elroy Art Agency, 
(503) 609-0503

Elroy Artspace to Curate Barbie-inspired Fine Art in “The Girl of Summer” Group Show at The Original Restaurant, Opening Reception on Augusts’ First Thursday Artwalk

Portland, OR (July 8, 2010) — Elroy Artspace gallery is pleased to announce The Girl of Summer, a group exhibition of Barbie Doll inspired fine art.  The exhibition will include the artworks of photo-realist oil painter Judy Ragagli, acrylic painter Debbie Curtis, and photographer David Parise.

Barbie is an American icon, a business phenomenon and a real doll. Since her introduction on March 9, 1959, Mattel has sold more than 1 billion Barbie dolls, nearly 100 million of those last year alone. She is the ultimate career woman (108 different jobs); a strong, single woman (she dumped Ken in 2004); and a three-time presidential candidate. Along the way she has fired the ambitions of countless little girls, grown-up men and women, collectors and artists.  Barbie has fascinated artists since she set her permanently arched foot into the spotlight. The blond beauty has been a muse for countless artists from Pop Art prince Andy Warhol to architect Robert A. M. Stern.  And the three featured in The Girl of Summer, who will warm our hearts and eyes for this two-month exhibition.

The Artists:

JUDY RAGAGLI of Los Angeles began seriously pursuing her passion for oil painting when under the tutelage of Paul Bedard and her very first canvas was a portrait of nostalgic Barbie, who came to become her primary focus.  Ragagli paints these Barbie’s because she sees the doll as possessing a soul and positive spirit; and whose true persona extends beyond the plastic façade.  Judy’s goal is to pay homage to this surviving icon of modernity, femininity, and style, and in her paintings Ragagli aims to have the viewers recognize nostalgic Barbie as an important and positive influence within American society while painting a mark of beauty and grace into the world.

DEBBIE CURTIS of Oklahoma City says of her work:  “The battle is continual, as I try to temper my compulsion to control with a little wild abandon - I know part of the process should be left for the viewer's eye - the rewards of filling in the details do not necessarily belong to me.  My goal is simple - to capture your curiosity, bring you closer, and reward you for taking the time to look.  I define my own successes and failures, all-powerful in my own small world.  That is the fun stuff.”  And fun for US!

DAVID PARISE of Miami, FL is an avid and tenured photographer / videographer who for the past year and a half has been shooting vintage Barbie and Ken dolls with a narrative of them in their original 1960’s outfits.  Inspired by Miami’s Art Deco hotels and their timeless beaches, the luxury of The Hamptons, Los Angeles’ glamour and David’s own sense of humor is evident in all of his work. 

The Venue:

Elroy Artspace is curating this show at The Original, a Dinerant (located at 300 SW 6th Ave. in downtown Portland, OR).  Elroy Artspace is a gallery whose mission is to enhance the human experience by introducing fine, fun art to design professionals and others concerned with bringing color and beauty into the home and workspace.


Elroy Art Agency is a boutique agency whose raison d'être is creating brand identities
and promoting the visibility of artists and the venues that sell their work. (

For Media inquiries, additional information regarding Elroy Artspace, Elroy
Art Agency or artwork sales and leasing, please contact: Elroy Art Agency: (503) 609-0503.


About Elroy

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Elroy landed in 2008 as a new kind of management consulting firm - specializing in the career development of visual artists. The agency’s raison d'être is increasing the exposure and sales of our clients’ artworks and the galleries whom partner with Elroy to showcase it.