Sustain-Able 余 : ♥

….wild is the wind…creative freedom is the seed….

Kel1st and Yu @Altered #Barbie 2017 #Art Exhibition, #SanFrancisco, #USA


Artist Statement

Kel1st and Yu’s “Agent Orange and the Fir$t Ho(p)e” Triptych series, is showing the signs of the times in 2017 with humour and a British neo-Punk influence. We wanted to address the rise of American neo-nazism and their racist organisations’ arrival to the laid-back liberal and diversity embracing Berkeley, San Francisco with humour and deliver a glowing “love bomb” via our Fusion Arts.

Cecilia: “Since my greatest Golden age of Hollywood cinematic influence was from a mentor who was a holocaust survivor who went on to make World changing cinemas such as Lawrence of Arabia, the African Queen and Highlanders, I feel it is a creative necessity to address the rise of neo-nazism in the USA, via the Arts. Altered Barbie’s creative defiance has garnered National and International fame.

After discussions with Kel1st who said,” It has been a shit show with Agent Orange in charge..”

I responded,” Nothing like the super regressive feminist backlash power of the Fir$t Hoe who helped her husband brag about pussy-groping other women!”

Thus our working title and this 3 part mixed Medium collage was born: “Agent Orange and the Fir$t Hoe”.

In the months where Kel1st in NYC and Cecilia on the Greek islands developed the art, rumours of our creative directions spread and we are proud to say that, ” As Influencers, many in the global graffiti art scenes like the artists in Berlin are doing “altered swastika” …See this bbc footage: ”

Art should never collaborate with Intolerance. Laughter is a great antidote to bigotry.


Legal History of Altered Barbie

As time allows I will include increasing detail here about how altered barbie art is parody of an icon, which is part of the pop culture and therefore something we as artists can comment on and poke fun at. In the law this is called Parody and it’s part of the Fair Use exceptions to both Copyright and Trademark Laws which protect all our original creations.

The problem was that Mattel would bully artists even though this was incredibly clear and settled law. And most artists, understandably, pack up and go home when Mattel confronts them! But Tom Forsythe was different. And we all are very grateful that he did not back down but sought out legalrepresentation. He found it in the form of the LA ACLW who took the case forfree and talked a major San Francisco law firm into taking the case on ProBono!

It took years of litigation because Mattel played hardball. But then so did Howard Rice Nemerovski Canady Falk & Rabkin! They won on the law – that the artist is protected because this sort of work is parody. They also won attorney fees. Over 1.5 million dollars worth of attorneys fees!

Why so much? Because the court thought that Mattel’s lawyers should have realized what a terrible case they had and should never had brought it! The court said; “Plaintiff’s Copyright claims [Mattel’s attempt to stop the artist] were objectively unreasonable. Plaintiff is a sophisticated entity with access to good legal representation. Plaintiff’s claims were not in an area of unsettled law and had little likelihood of success. Plaintiff’s copyright claims, therefore were frivolous.” (you can download a copy of this opinion here). The court also pointed out that Mattel seemed to be motivated not by lofty ideas of furthering the interests of copyright law, but they were simply out to discourage artists from using Barbie in their Artwork.

Here are some news articles etc on the web that comment on this issue. I have more that i will post as I update the page. The most important thing is to make it clear to Mattel that we know we are protected because Mattel can still approach artists and scare them and the artist’s webhosts! The New York Times: Judge Says Artist Can Make Fun of Barbie June 28, 2004. ACLU Judge Says No to Mattel’s Effort to Stop Artist’s Photographic Critiques of Barbie Monday, September 25, 2000. Preliminary Injunction Denied in Case of Artist Tom Forsythe. San Francisco Chronicle article Mattel Can’t Prevent Man’s Sexy Barbie ArtFriday, February 23, 2001

Julie Andersen @ 415.240.2202 or e-mail her at
daydreaming arts has generously donated the time and resources of kayla garelick who is our intern this year.




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This entry was posted on September 22, 2017 by in Innovation & Creativity.
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