“Life in plastic, it’s fantastic.”
Forgive me while I lazily crib a line from Aqua’s flawless masterpiece “Barbie Girl” to introduce the work of Australian 3D artist and visual designer Jason Ebeyer.
Aqua did the good and honorable work of exposing Barbie’s turnt side (and getting sued by Mattel in the process), but their racy reimagining only scratches the surface of what Ebeyer’s hypersexed plastic creations get up to.
Oiled-up bodies, queer kink, neon religious iconography it’s all the things you wished went down in Barbie’s playhouse after hours but never did.
Check out Ebeyer’s work and our interview below for more on his process and his dreams of designing the Kardashians’ Christmas card (achievable).
How would you describe what you do to someone looking at your work for the first time?
I’d try and explain that I digitally create scenes and models, and within these scenes I explore ideas of sexuality, society, and what it is like to be a young person in this era.
It can be a bit tricky explaining how I create and what I create I had a talk with my mum recently actually and she still doesn’t fully understand what I do.
How did you get into creating this type of work?
I was studying graphic design at a design school in Melbourne. I was about halfway through my final year and I felt really disconnected from the work and industry I was about to graduate into.
I began trying to find something to take my mind off the boring work I was having to do, and I came across the 3D medium. Straight away it consumed my entire creative side. Every day I’d read and watch tutorials and play around learning new techniques and tricks. After I began sharing my work online via Instagram I discovered a whole community of other 3D artists doing some amazing stuff.
How did you develop the aesthetic of the characters in your work?
Back in high school during my early teens I always had this fascination with alternative-looking models in classic pin-up poses think Gil Elvgren’s models in the Instagram era.
My intention has always been to portray this “perfect” and unattainable body image in surreal environments and settings. The girls are all seven feet tall, tight waists and smooth skin, while the boys are muscular and chiseled with strong jawlines and toned bodies.
My new store is now up and running with all kinds of new products featuring my work. Follow the link my bio. Also a very special thank you to the incredibly talented @tanerelle for offering her song “Clyde” for me to reupload this clip. Looking forward to working with her on some original artwork soon 🖤
What artists inspired your style?
I’m inspired by a heap of different artists, as well as fashion, music, and film. I’m obsessed with old paintings by artists like William Bouguereau and Caravaggiothe images are set out in such a cinematic fashion and the way the light and shadows ripple across the bodies is beautiful. And then I draw influence from photographers like Steven Klein and David LaChappelle again similar to the classic painters, I love the cinematic and dramatic feel of their work but also how they show such beauty in a dark way.
Fetish, religion, and technology are common subjects in your animations. What are you trying to communicate with these repeating themes?
I grew up in a pretty religious family we didn’t go to church every week or anything like that, but we had to pray before we ate and if we said “Jesus Christ” mum would tell us off. As I got older and was able to make my own decisions and choices about life I decided that wasn’t the correct path for me, but it was always forced on me growing up, and the imagery and stories are part of what I like to explore in my work.
When I depict a cross or some other religious icon in my work it isn’t to offend but more to symbolize an idea of control etc. When I’m putting together a new animation or scene I’m always trying to explore something. Being able to create a world where you feel safe to explore these ideas and thoughts almost gives a feeling of freedom.
Some of your characters are queer. Tell me more about how you portray sexuality in your work?
I’d probably say all my characters are queer to a certain degree. I mean, isn’t everyone? I do tend to lean more towards same-sex couples in my work though, and I guess this is just art imitating life.
You regularly use a color palette of pinks and purples. What do these colors mean to you?
Some of the imagery and ideas I deal with in my work can be pretty heavy and dark. I like experimenting and mixing soft vibes in with my scenes to contrast the main themes. But as far as colour goes, it usually depends on the mood I’m in when I’m creating artwork. If you scroll through my catalog of work you can probably pick out which weeks were pretty shit and which ones were great based on the colour I was using at the time.
What are you working on now?
I’ve just wrapped up some work for NYFW and I’m on the home stretch with another project for a New York-based fashion house. It’s been such an amazing project they totally understand my style and we have created some sick work together that I can’t wait to share.
Where do you hope your work will take you?
Honestly I have no idea. If you had told me this time last year that I’d be where I am now I would have laughed. I’m just taking it one project at a time and seeing where it goes. Although I did have a dream one night that Kris Jenner called me up to book me for the Kardashian Christmas card, so I’m just wishing that out into the universe haha.