Sucker Silver, Barbie Arm, 3 x 2”, 2005

Yvonne Escalante

Artist Statement

From the day we are born, our behavior and tastes are controlled by the social status quo. Little girls are fed an idealized image. Here, Barbie® has been deconstructed and reassembled for even easier consumption.


A first generation American on her father’s side, Yvonne Escalante was raised in a household in which her father stressed the importance of American identity over cultural ties. As such, she learned at a very young age that outward appearances could be deceiving. In her work, she explores her internal conflict of identity, gender roles, and societal norms.

Yvonne’s interest in art of every form led her to dabble in design, architecture, and ultimately metalsmithing, which became her primary medium. She graduated from California State University in Long Beach in 2005, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 3-D design, focusing in metal arts. She continued to explore her passion for small metal sculpture by creating custom jewelry designs for five years as a professional goldsmith.

Yvonne has worked as an artist assistant to David Middlebrook since 2009, producing large-scale bronze and stone sculptures for private and public installations. In 2010 she returned to school to pursue her Master of Fine Arts degree in Spatial Arts at San José State University. Her current work continues to utilize metals, but is growing larger in scale and beginning to incorporate a variety of materials such as glass, plastics, wood, and fiber.