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Work / Photography

Beehives, blondes and boobs: Dolly Faibyshev photographs Dollypalooza

After living life as a ‘corporate drone for several years, Dolly Faibyshev picked up a camera and taught herself how to use it. “ I was constantly experimenting outside of work and trying to find something that clicked for me, because I was never one of those kids that knew what they wanted to be when they grew up,” says the photographer. “I picked up a camera and taught myself how to use it, finding excuses to photograph things that interested me and, over time, I fell in love with it.”

Dollypalooza captures the goings on at Dolly Parton festivals around New York and Brooklyn. The series is a riot of colour and fabulousness – all beehive wigs and slightly-too-tight glittery dresses. “I honestly didn’t know what to expect, I went in with zero expectations. So I was totally blown away. It was just the perfect mix of oddity and pure devotion to Dolly Parton – both by the performers and the fans,” says Dolly. “These performers go all out, spending hours getting dolled up for a night that culminates in an orgy of beautiful, unabashed, all-out Dolly Parton-ness. It’s about glamour, femininity, and finding something within yourself to celebrate with everyone.”

The colours are pumped up and the action is full-on capturing the wild nights and the devotion to the country and western deity. “I think this series explores our basic freedom of self-expression and identity, and issues of idealism and conformity. It explored the unique relationship between what it means to be a fan and what it means to be an individual, to find a fraction within your own identity and how it relates to an iconic image.” explains Dolly. “All of these performers take a version of their idea of Dolly Parton to explore their own freedom. As each of them transform, I watch each of them become themselves. Their own identity is unmistakably expressed in that effort. There is no inhibition, no fear in that room, no recognition of borders on anyone’s freedom on that stage. At Dollypalooza, each performer puts a lot of love and care into his or her costume, wig, and makeup to look like the best, most beautiful Dolly Parton they can achieve.”

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Dolly Faibyshev: Dollypalooza

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Dolly Faibyshev: Dollypalooza

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Dolly Faibyshev: Dollypalooza

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Dolly Faibyshev: Dollypalooza

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Dolly Faibyshev: Dollypalooza

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Dolly Faibyshev: Dollypalooza

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Dolly Faibyshev: Dollypalooza

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Dolly Faibyshev: Dollypalooza

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Dolly Faibyshev: Dollypalooza

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Dolly Faibyshev: Dollypalooza