Even though he just launched the doll last week at a splashy event at his Miami Beach gallery, Romero Britto and Barbie go way back.
“She’s so iconic,” the neo-pop artist says from his studio in the Wynwood Arts District. “I grew up with my sisters talking about Barbie playing with Barbie. You see Barbie everywhere when you are growing up.”
In 2006, the Brazilian-born Britto did a painting of Barbie. Now, in collaboration with Mattel, he has brought that art to life.
“She is beautiful, and [she] is like an icon for so many generations,” he says. “She’s inspiring so many girls. The world needs more toys and things that can be inspiring to children. She’s beautiful, and she’s had so many professions. And she’s very fashionable.”
The Britto Barbie wears a sleeveless dress emblazoned with one of the artist’s signature, kaleidoscope-colored prints and trimmed in white. The doll is accessorized with sporty high socks, heeled booties and white sunglasses, and carries a soccer ball.
“The World Cup is a global contest,” Britto explains. “Barbie is passionate about soccer. She’s just as universal as soccer.”