Arts and Culture / Magazine Feature

Artist poised to share ‘Ideal Woman’ with the world

Allie Pohl

Allie Pohl, who gradutes on June 4, has received critical acclaim for her last installation.

If anyone appears to be on the brink of something big, it’s Allie Pohl.

Pohl, who graduates on June 4 with her master’s degree in electronic media arts and design, seems poised to share her Ideal Woman with the world.

Ideal Woman is the name of a variety of artistic projects Pohl has taken on to convey her belief that society is obsessed with the “perfect woman.” 

“In this digital age, women are inundated with images that culturally outline feminine beauty,” she says. “Often, these commercially packaged versions of beauty are simply illusions created by advanced technology.”

Pohl uses many art forms, including sculpture, ceramics, video and jewelry. Her final project for DU, Ideal Woman: 36-24-36, showcased multiple sculptures that modeled the “perfect” Barbie.

Kyle MacMillan of the Denver Post reviewed the Hinterland Gallery show.

“Her deliberate mimicking of the repetition and slick, manufactured feel of today’s female idealizations become a savvy, pointed critique of it,” MacMillian wrote, adding that Pohl “already has a more extensive resume than some better-established professionals.”

While Pohl was delighted to have her work highlighted the Post’s entertainment section, it’s hardly the first time her work has drawn attention. She makes Ideal Woman necklaces out of Lucite. She enjoys the notion that advancement in technologies that allow her to cut Lucite into “cookie cutter patterns” are being used in other ways to make women into “cookie cutter patterns” as well.

“The necklace demonstrates our culture’s desire to emulate a look that seems naturally impossible to attain” she says.

The necklaces, which can be purchased online, have attracted notice. They’ve been featured in magazines including Marie Claire, Denver Magazine, Trend Hunter, and Orange Appeal.

“It’s been wonderful to watch her blossom,” says Laleh Mehran, Pohl’s adviser and associate professor of electronic media arts and design.

Mehran says Pohl has an ability to listen to recommendations and execute them at an incredible speed. Mehran says the idea for the necklace came out of one of their meetings. Before Mehran knew it, Pohl had designed and created the necklaces. The same thing happened with the idea for her blog, too.

Pohl says everything really came together for her at DU. She’s not sure what her future holds, except that she’ll stay in Denver through the summer. She just hopes her art and message catch on.

“I hope this iconic necklace is more than just a pendant; when worn it is a catalyst for instigating new ideas, conversation and change,” she says.

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