11.01.24 - 10.03.24

Carlyle Nuera

Hi Barbie! Kickstarting the iconic doll’s 65th anniversary year, the Naughton Gallery is delighted to present I’m Wearing Carlyle Nuera, a solo exhibition by Barbie Signature lead designer Carlyle Nuera. Created by Mattel founder Ruth Handler – a game-changing feminist visionary – Barbie defied the conventions of the 1950s, establishing a role for women other than a wife and mother. With an identity outside of her family, Barbie represented an astounding modern departure, opening the imagination for what a doll – and a woman – could be. 

Whilst countless people have contributed to the unrivalled success that Mattel’s Barbie doll has enjoyed since her debut in 1959, this exhibition focuses specifically on the work of Nuera, a Los Angeles-based queer Filipino-American artist who has been designing for Barbie for over a decade. A graduate of Otis College of Art & Design, Los Angeles, Nuera’s personal art practice is primarily fashion and textile-led, expressing themes of identity and connecting his personal narratives to those of the larger groups he identifies with. This exhibition explores the ways in which this personal work has come to influence and inspire Nuera’s approach to designing for Barbie, not only through fashion, but in his approach to the likes of skin tone, hair texture, and body type.

I’m Wearing Carlyle Nuera sees a selection of Nuera’s personal fashion designs, drawings, and writings on display alongside a wide variety of Barbies – from collector’s items to playline dolls – offering a unique insight into his design process. In addition to the dolls themselves, early sketches and design illustrations demonstrate the fascinating journey that each doll goes through from initial concept to final product.

This exhibition offers a glimpse into the portfolio of designs Nuera has produced for Barbie throughout his career, yet this relatively small selection of dolls strongly exemplifies his passion for making the Barbie of today a true reflection of the world in which we live. Nuera embraces current trends and pushes the boundaries of who Barbie is and what she can be, whilst also educating us about both celebrated and often overlooked visionary women from the past. Nuera is undoubtedly an individual who has contributed significantly to the Barbie we know, love, and are often surprised and challenged by today, helping to shape and evolve the brand in innovative and exciting ways.

Related Events

THU 11 JAN 2024, 5:30-8PM

With live music from Marion Hawkes and a specialist magazine pop-up courtesy of IRIS, join us for the opening reception of I'M WEARING CARLYLE NUERA. Free admission. Refreshments provided. All welcome.

SAT 13 JAN 2024, 11AM - 12PM

For the next in our series of morning talks we're joined by artist, Carlyle Nuera, in conversation with the Naughton Gallery team. Attendance is free and refreshments are provided.

SAT 13 JAN 2024, 12:15PM

To mark the opening of I'M WEARING CARLYLE NUERA, we are partnering with UsFolk and QFT to present another edition of our popular SCREEN/PRINT series with a special screening of Barbie.

All attendees will receive a free, limited edition Barbie film poster designed by Belfast based illustrator, Fiona McDonnell.


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