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Growing up, Judy Ragagli took great joy in self-expression through the visual arts, however it was not until adulthood when she fell under the tutelage of master artist Paul Bedard that she began to seriously pursue her passion for oil painting. During an intensive study, Ragagli unleashed and honed her inner talent for creating stunning and life-like depictions in oil. During this period she poured herself into the craft to create a unique method of handling the paint which is reflected in her one-of-a-kind oil paintings. Ragagli's very first canvas was a portrait of nostalgic Barbie, a subject that she would later assume as her primary inspiration and focus.
Ragagli's oil paintings are so life-like, many people have mistaken them for photographs. In order to achieve accurate tonal properties of Barbie's plastic flesh, Ragagli employs an arduous process of specialized mixing of oil colors that few artists have been able to master. Using only seven original color tubes of oil, she is able to precisely translate the vast and scintillating color properties of Barbie's skin, hair, make-up and wardrobe as they interact with reflective light. The effect of her process and style culminates in a cohesive vision of the beauty and grace of Barbie and the artist's own commentary on the significance of this great American Icon.
"I have always loved nostalgic Barbie and her mystique of elegance and worldliness. I see her as possessing a soul and positive spirit; her true persona extends beyond the plastic facade. She represents and contains knowledge of culture and society thus becoming more significant than an object of child's play. She is an indicator of trends, a marker of historical eras, and a positive role model for the past, present, and future.
My goal is to pay homage to this surviving icon of modernity, femininity, and style. I want my viewers to recognize nostalgic Barbie as an important and positive influence within American society on both the individual and aggregate levels. By presenting Barbie through portraiture on canvas, I aim to create a vision of Barbie that is still and noble. I strive to elicit veneration for Barbie's legacy while painting a mark of beauty and grace into the world." --Judy Ragagli
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