Identical twin sisters who are “sleeping” with children’s superhero figurines are posting suggestive photos on Instagram and selling each one for $333 a pop.
The Kaplan Twins are young artists based in Los Angeles who are currently working on a project called Boy Toys. The work is in collaboration with “The Most Famous Artist,” Matty Mo, who recently made $50,000 in one weekend by selling stacks of cash on Instagram.
The Boy Toys feature a collection of children’s superhero figurines that the Kaplan Twins “sleep” with and sell for $333 a piece.
Mo says they plan to sell out of the figurines by the end of the week. He said of the Boy Toys project that launched on Sunday:
“If you sexualize an object even as simple as a children’s toy enough, all of sudden it becomes desirable […] While the Kaplan twins have been scrutinized for oversexualizing themselves, maybe it’s playing the game of oversexualizing themselves that will help them be successful. In doing so they can also make fun of their roles and maybe satirize the types of buyers who will play into that gender role.”
The seven art objects include Batman, Hulk, Mario, Yoda, Pikachu, Chewbacca and Darth Vader. The figurines were purchased for a total of $130 from the Los Angeles Toy District and re-sold at over ten times the original price. So far, three have been sold. The twins have not revealed what exactly they did with these toys and that is probably a big part of the allure.
In one of their Instagram posts, the Kaplan Twins wrote:
“Each ‘Boy Toy’ is signed on the tag and includes a signed COA sealed with kisses and a framed picture of us with the ‘Boy Toy.’ And yes they smell like us.”
Allie and Lexie Kaplan, 22, received their bachelor’s degrees from New York University. Their art, which had primarily been oil paintings, explores the nature of identical twin identity and alter egos by using celebrities as their subjects.
Perhaps their most prized work is the Kim Kardashian Superstar painting from their Celebrity Sex Scandal series. The Kaplan Twins told Nextshark:
“The image is just so iconic and we’re fascinated with celebrity culture and exploitation as a part of that culture. Celebrities capitalize off of their own fame and reputation through social media channels and other media attention. Kim used a sex tape to make herself a household name; she took advantage of this idea of celebrity and did it best.”
Their fascination with celebrity culture led them to exploit their own sexuality and use it to their advantage in their art. The Kaplan Twins acknowledge that their work may appear to be self-obsessed and egotistical. They wrote on their site:
“Though our work may come across as narcissistic to some, we view it instead as a form of ‘reproduced selflessness,’ as the work we make is not about the self or ego, but about the other or alter ego.
“Additionally, we use ourselves as the subject in almost all of our works as a sort of narcissism and objectify ourselves to study the concept of self, mass media’s reconstruction of reality through shock and spectacle, and the seduction of abjection.”
The Kaplan Twins have mainly showcased their work via social media and Instagram, where they share photos of themselves along with their masterpieces to their 23,000 followers. The sisters also prefer to be interactive with their works so that viewers are able to interpret the art in relation to its creators.
“[Instagram] had a pretty big impact. If you don’t put your work and story out there for people to see, how will they see it? Rather than just posting photos of our work we like to include ourselves on our page as well.
“So it’s not just about the art or ‘paintings by twin artists’ but also about us and our story and our personalities so it becomes ‘twin artists who make paintings.’ We want people to see what we’re doing and be involved in the process and be on the journey with, like a sneak peek into our lives and world.”
The duo hopes to make big strides in the world of art. Among the greatest obstacles they see for artists is their invisibility behind their artwork. They are trying to change how people associate artworks with their artists.
The Kaplan Twins list Andy Warhol among the artists they admire. Warhol was similarly intrigued by celebrity and his series of colored portraits of Marilyn Monroe are among his most well known pieces. If given the opportunity, the Kaplan Twins said they would like to work with famous celebs like Miley Cyrus and James Franco.