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BWW Feature: Dollmation Attack! Warren Wright's Barbie Dolls take on Fosse, Madonna, and I Love Lucy.

BWW Feature: Dollmation Attack! Warren Wright's Barbie Dolls take on Fosse, Madonna, and I Love Lucy.

While sheltering in place since March, Brooklyn-based artist Warren Wright (aka Warrencito) took full advantage of his quarantine downtime. Combining his fascination with Barbie Dolls, iconic dance sequences, and stop-motion, he creates some astonishing videos. If you're a fan of Madonna, Bob Fosse, or even Lucy Ricardo-you're bound to find something joyful in the recreations Wright refers to as "Dollmation."

Impressively, Wright is a one-man show, producing, directing and filming each of his video shorts. He selects the dolls, designs the sets and costumes and is fastidious about crafting the hairstyles. Much time is spent studying the original performances, with his distinct eye for detail. It's important to Wright to capture the essence of the original choreography. Since most Barbie dolls are limited in mobility, he often uses the "Made to Move" models. With better flexibility and articulation, they're able to touch their shoulders, and even move their ankles. Though considering the limitations, his Barbie dance troupe is exceptionally on point.

Given that so much of his work is movement-based, Wright surprisingly doesn't have a professional dance background. His mom, who is of Peruvian descent, was a Flamenco dancer, and introduced him to movie musicals at a young age. Growing up as a gay man in California during the 90's, he was a regular at the disco. Some of his friends danced for Britney Spears, and Wright would successfully emulate their moves on the dance floor.

Wright's interest in Barbie Dolls kicked into high gear about four years ago. After watching "The Toys That Made Us" on Netflix, he started doing research on their origins. He loved learning the history and the design aspect of the vintage models. Collecting them became a hobby, especially the ones that had a funny story behind them. Wright admits that his first attempts at using them in stop-motion were a bit crude. Through the process of trial and error, his most recent productions prove without doubt, that Warren Wright has arrived.

Hear what Wright has to say about each of his inspired pieces--created reverently with his Barbies, an iPhone 10, a hot glue gun, and multiple fabric trips to the Mini-Max store.

"Rich Man's Frug" from "Sweet Charity."

"I wanted to do a Bob Fosse tribute even though I knew it would be a challenge. Since his number starts out with a lot of mannequin-type poses, I could totally see that being replicated in Barbie form. Fortunately, there wasn't much of a background aside from two statues and a Roman pillar. I liked the simplicity of the costumes, as it was all about the headdresses and everyone was in black. It gave me the time to focus on his formations and the intricacy of the choreography. I literally was watching the number on my laptop as I was shooting the dolls. That ponytail was definitely its own character for me--it was big and exaggerated."

Madonna's "VOGUE" from the 1990 MTV Video Music Awards

"I remember watching that performance and loved how they used the "Marie Antoinette" angle. I thought it was so genius and inventive. It was a challenge to replicate the costumes, but using the ball gowns helped me to cover up some of the footwork. I wanted to capture small things like the flick of the fans, and the dancer who accidentally gets his foot caught on Madonna's dress. I've received so many comments on that part alone as a lot of people recall that moment. A friend once said to me that the joy is in the details. Vincent Paterson, the guy who actually created the number, reached out to me on Facebook and YouTube. He was thrilled and honored, and loved the whole piece."

"Cuban Pete" from "I Love Lucy."

"As a kid I always loved this show. Ricky Ricardo was so slick, and I loved the element he brought to the show. I released the video on Mother's Day, as it was a nod to my mother. When I moved out of the house, she said one of the things she missed was when I would say, "Lucy I'm home" when I got in. Plus, she would go off in Spanish anytime she was upset, so it was just like the show. I also loved the slapstick and flirtiness between Lucy and Ricky because it reminded me of my parents. Coming from a multicultural family, I realize that things are much more progressive now than they were in the 1950s. Though we still have a ways to go, I take pride in being half Latin. I wanted to celebrate that by doing this piece."

About the Artist

BWW Feature: Dollmation Attack! Warren Wright's Barbie Dolls take on Fosse, Madonna, and I Love Lucy. Warren Wright (aka Warrencito) is a Brooklyn based self taught illustrator and visual artist. Born and raised in Glendale, California, it was common to see the Hollywood sign or the Disney studios water tower from the backseat of his mom's car on the freeway. These every day landmarks would be the start of his interest in animation and exposure to the golden age of Hollywood movies and musicals. Inspired by the sophistication and absurdity of all things mid century, Warrencito works mostly with vintage Barbies in his stop Motions shorts. Barbie fans are happy to see their old friends acting in their favorite movie/theater/tv scenes. Follow Warrencito on Instagram: @warrencito or his YouTube Channel

All photos courtesy of the Artist.

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