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You name it they’ve done it to Barbie this year at the Altered Barbie exhibit in San Francisco.  She’s been iced, melted, de-limbed, crucified, and decapitated in the name of art.

Co-Founder Julie Anderson says what makes Barbie interesting is she has so many conflicting connotations.  She’s beautiful and wealthy– owns fancy cars and clothes.  But on the flip side, she’s associated with anorexia and greed.  She’s an impossible ideal.

“When you start altering her she becomes a little more real,” says Anderson who started the month-long exhibit in 2002 and calls this year’s show sophisticated and subdued.

“She’s probably the first icon in history that its okay to play with her and alter her and really identify with her.  She can be kinky, sexy, innocent–she can become some of the desires or hidden aspects of your own personality,” says Anderson.

The exhibit runs through October 1st at 50 Shotwell Street and 11 Grove Street. Tonight’s Artists Reception at the Shotwell location will have live Barbie and Ken, poetry, comedy, and films from 5-11 pm.