It’s been hot and humid for the past week. I live in an upstairs apartment with no AC, my cat and I are slowly melting away into puddles of sweat. It’s pretty horrid. In between apartment hunting, work, and devising dinner plans that involve me not using the stove I’ve had little time to whip up any wonderful artistic creations. I did enter a piece into Festival of the Arts, but it was promptly rejected (booo!), but oh well. I do however have the promised photos of my Thesis show.
The drawings are all finished and framed. The business cards are in and looking wonderful. The only thing left is to hang up the show. I’m scheduled to hang my work and get my space ready this Wednesday and much celebration will ensue- I may even go out for a drink. Anyway for those of you who can’t make it to the show (which is May 4th, 4-7pm at the old federal building), here are the six pieces going up for everyone’s viewing pleasure. I posted a few of them in an earlier post along with my artist statement, so make sure to read that before passing judgement on me. Click on the images for a larger version.
Last night I was in my studio until 1:30am, tired and with a burgeoning headache, determined to finish my final Thesis drawing. Guess what? I succeeded all the drawings for my show are now complete. Surprisingly, of my own violation, I awoke at 9 am this morning in a fairly chipper mood. Perhaps its the excitement of the final critique of my Under Graduate degree or that I don’t have to spend my entire day closeted away in my studio. Whatever it maybe I’m in a good mood- not to mention Kendall was handing out free 5 minute massages, which I hastily took advantage of, and all the knots in my shoulders are now gone. Anyway I took several crappy photos of my in progress piece showing the evolution of my drawing. Here is the Evolution of Sleeping Beauty for your viewing pleasure.
Also please note that there’s are poor photos so some things might look wonky due to the camera angle. I’ll hopefully be getting a good photograph tomorrow.
It’s 10:38 PM, I’ve been in the studio or at work pretty much all day. What have I accomplished thus far….
You also get a glimpse of the corner of my studio, isn’t it just so chic?
‘Once upon a time’ represents a common theme and ideal in modern society. Fairy tales are a simplistic, and often entertaining, way of imparting lessons in morality to children. The basic concept of the good being rewarded in the end and the wicked being punished is steadfast in its popularity. Large entertainment companies find no fault in adapting these timeless tales into feature films, picture books, and various forms of merchandise. Due to marketing success almost anyone can claim to know the story of Snow White or Cinderella, however unbeknownst to many they have received a censored variant of their ‘favorite’ fable.
In reading the original written versions of fairy tales one of the few constants is violence. When an antagonist reaches their ‘just reward’ it is most often horrific and gruesome, their fates usually more abominable than the transgressions they’ve been condemned for. An example of this can be found in Snow White, when the evil Queen, unwittingly, attends Snow White’s wedding and is promptly captured. The queen is forced to wear a pair of hot iron shoes and made to dance in them until she falls down dead. The great disconnect between what is commonly known and what is truly written has inspired my work. I sought to illustrate the graphic scenes censored from the popularized versions of fairy tales currently in circulation and scenes from those stories deemed too disturbing to market as movies for adolescents.
In my drawings I wanted to highlight the darker aspects of our beloved fairy tales, the scenes that have been casually discarded over time. Each drawing, depicting a gruesome scene, is done in graphite, a medium that reflects the shades of gray once present in the fabled characters and now squandered by censorship. I have chosen to use red watercolor to highlight the violent nature of each tale, applying small amounts of the macabre color in select areas to emphasize the horrors within. Working on a large scale the viewer is forced to witness what media has denied them, and allowing little respite.
In preparation for my foray into the world of fairy tales I decided to research some of the illustrators who have tackled fairy tales, which includes Arthur Rackham, Kay Nielsen, James Jean, and Gustave Dore. I also delved into a cacophony of fairy tales and their multiple incarnations. I decided to focus in on three writers for my inspiration; the Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault- the men who are responsible for writing the best-known versions of the stories.
Through the voice of ‘word smiths’ such as Grimm’ and Perrault I am able to bring attention to the harm of literary censorship. The mutilation of these fairy tales illustrates only a small portion of what society takes away in the name of morality; looking into the past almost every book that has been banned by government is now considered one of the greatest novels of our time. The next time a individual picks up their copy of Cinderella or Snow White I hope they will take into consideration that not everyone always lives ‘Happily Ever After”.