About Nicole Houff

I’m a Minneapolis photographer who lives in a plastic world inhabited by  an infamous resident. My love for the “even less accurate than Barbie”  realities that 50’s and 60’s entertainment portrays complements my  stoic muse and my sense of humor. Additionally, my photographs have  strong design and color elements, often referencing 50’s and 60’s  aesthetics. […]

I’m a Minneapolis photographer who lives in a plastic world inhabited by  an infamous resident. My love for the “even less accurate than Barbie”  realities that 50’s and 60’s entertainment portrays complements my  stoic muse and my sense of humor. Additionally, my photographs have  strong design and color elements, often referencing 50’s and 60’s  aesthetics. With her introduction in 1959, Barbie is right at home.  

Once I have a scene visualized in my head, I go on the hunt for all the  components that need to go into the image. I set up the diorama with  the dolls, props and backgrounds and design studio lighting around it. I  take an incredibly technical approach to my work; each shoot is a multi hour event consisting of fine tuning lighting and great attention to detail.  Subsequently, hours of retouching are required to remove dust, hairs,  doll stands, plastic imperfections, etc. I’ve always felt that my Barbie  series is the perfect hybrid of my BA from Macalester College with a  major in Studio Art, and my Associate Degree from Minneapolis  Community and Technical College in Photography and Digital Imaging  

My work has been shown at a variety of galleries, festivals and exhibits  including (but not limited to): Hopkins Center for the Arts, Mpls Photo  Center, The Knockdown Center, Gamut Gallery, Intermedia Arts, Nash  Gallery, Robbin Gallery, MN State Fair, Uptown Art Fair, Edina Art Fair  and the Stone Arch Bridge Festival. I was selected as one of the  featured artists at our Minnesota State Fair Fine Art Exhibition in 2016  and the Commemorative Artist of the Uptown Art Fair in 2017. In 2018  the Hopkins Center for the Arts invited me to hang a solo exhibition of  my series, accompanied by an artist talk. And more recently, my “She’s  Fantastic and Made of Plastic” series headed to Praxis Gallery in  Minneapolis, summer 2022. 

Enjoy! 

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