‘Barbies and Bondage’ art display outside Albuquerque home concerns neighbors

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The City of Albuquerque’s Code Enforcement and police were called to a home near the University of New Mexico after people complained about a creepy display of Barbie dolls in their neighbor’s yard.

The homeowner calls the display of Barbie dolls art. Others are calling it vulgar.

“‘Barbies and Bondage’ I call it,” said David, the homeowner and artist, who did not want to give his last name. He didn’t want to show his face either, but he did want to show off his collection of Barbies hanging off his front wall.

“I’ve had a lot of time to look at the people walking by wearing masks and I was taking telephoto pictures of the people with masks,” said David.

David said the display is not a political statement but a statement about the pandemic. By taping glass “masks” on the Barbies’ faces, sticking nails into the side of their arms (where vaccines are administered), and splattering them with red paint, David said he’s highlighting medical pain and issues from the vaccine.

“All of this art is about truth versus lies,” said David.

But that’s not all. David’s front yard is full of computers, TVs, and other electronics with the word “lies” painted on them. Signs are also hanging from a tree, including one that reads “NM Slave State.”

Not everyone is a fan of David’s work.

“I really do find it inappropriate for children and for myself also,” said a neighbor named Antonio who did not want to show his face or use his last name. Antonio said his family doesn’t feel comfortable walking by the home because of the display. “I mean, I love art, so any other type of art would be great. But having naked dolls with masks laying on the sidewalk is not appropriate,” said Antonio.

Others respected their neighbor’s freedom of expression. “This is something that a person can communicate … the way they feel about a certain topic through an artistic medium,” said neighbor Jett Vitali.

A city code inspector did stop by the house to check it out, but said the display doesn’t violate code because it’s on private property. The city also added that it’s a form of free speech. Three years ago, the city received three different complaints regarding another art display David had made.

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