Shocking images of plastic Barbie dolls, gold-encrusted teeth, guns and a Louis Vuitton scarf merge together, as Atlanta-based photographer Sheila Pree-Bright presents “Girls, Grillz and Dolls,” a provocative art exhibition that intricately explores African American culture, stereotypes and beauty Feb. 3 at Grambling State University’s Dunbar Gallery.
In her exhibition, Pree-Bright divides her work into three parts in order to explore the media’s perception of identity and standards of beauty.
In her first series, Guns, Pree-Bright cleverly addresses the stereotypical pressures that pop culture has placed on young black males: colorful name-brand logos, bling and violence, while in “Grillz” she provides insight into black urban culture.
Last but not least, in her last series, Plastic Bodies, Pree-Bright digitally manipulates Barbie to address America’s fixation on achieving the perfect body image.
“The girls and dolls started from another project when I was looking at African American women’s bodies that don’t fit the standard of beauty in American society,” she said. “That led me to the Barbie because I feel that all women can’t fit what society call ideal beauty.”
Pree-Bright will deliver another lecture at 2:30 p.m. Feb. 2 in Grambling Hall Auditorium to discuss pop culture beauty standards and cultural stereotypes.
For more information about Pree-Bright’s work, please visit http://www.sheilapreebright.com.