Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Fairytale art for adults

I’m amazed by the amount of artwork that’s inspired by classic fairytales, especially those adapted by the Walt Disney Co.
Stories from our childhood seem popular with artists for reimagining and reinterpreting. And since everyone is familiar with the stories behind them, people can appreciate the twists that artists put into their interpretations.
Classic fairytales also are in the public domain so they are free to use. But many artists mix them with modern pop culture works that are protected – if the rights holders choose to enforce their copyrights.
Here are some of the latest examples I’ve seen.

Depressed Disney princesses

Photographer Dina Goldstein of Vancouver, B.C., created a series of images called “Fallen Princesses.” The photos depict fairytale characters like Snow White and Cinderella in bleak modern-day settings.
“I explored the original brothers Grimm’s stories and found that they have very dark and sometimes gruesome aspects, many of which were changed by Disney,” she wrote. “I began to imagine Disney’s perfect Princesses juxtaposed with real issues that were affecting women around me, such as illness, addiction and self-image issues.”
For examples, see “Snowy” and “Cinder” above.
These photos remind me of the work of photographer Thomas Czarnecki, whose series “From Enchantment to Down” depicted the demise of a bunch of female fairytale characters.
Platinum Image Conception Studio of Rio de Janiero used photography to put a sexy spin on classic fairytale stories like Cinderella, Snow White and Rapunzel. Check out the company’s fantasy portfolio, as well as examples here and here.

Fairy Tales for Twenty-Somethings

In his Tumblr blog, Fairy Tales for Twenty-Somethings, Tim Manley takes a comic approach to fairytale characters dealing with real-life problems.
He imagines Snow White, Rumpelstiltskin, the Frog Prince and other characters managing their personal problems as if they were millennial urbanites.
For instance, Rapunzel cuts her hair super short and suddenly attracts lesbian suitors.

Annie Leibovitz’s Disney series

Disney has reimagined its own fairytale movies over the years using photographer Annie Leibovitz and a host of celebrities.
The most recent in the series features singer Taylor Swift as Rapunzel. It was released this month.
Previous entries in the series have included Olivia Wilde as the Evil Queen and Alec Baldwin as the Spirit of the Magic Mirror. Earlier sets were released in August 2012 and March 2011.
See other photos from the series at Miss Geeky and Fanpop.

Pop princesses meet Disney princesses

One piece of art circulating on the Internet juxtaposes classic Disney princesses with today’s pop music princesses, most of whom got their start with Disney.
The artwork features (bottom left to right) Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato and Taylor Swift. Swift is the only one of these young women who was not a Disney starlet.

Another series of illustrations shows the Disney princesses as little girls with their animal friends as plush toys. These works were done by artist Moon Child in the Sky on DeviantArt.
Above and below are samples showing a young Belle from “Beauty and the Beast” and a young Jasmine from “Aladdin.”

Disney princesses mashed up with other pop culture works

A common theme of Disney princess art is to mix those characters into other stories in pop culture such as “Pokemon” and “Star Wars.”
Artist Hapuriainen of Finland did drawings of the Disney princesses as Pokemon trainers in Japanese anime style. She’s obviously a big Pokemon fan because she’s got other Pokemon-inspired artwork on her website.
Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm, including the “Star Wars” franchise, in October inspired a ton of Disney princess-“Star Wars” mashups. Princess Leia is the newest Disney princess.

Disney artist Adam Dix sketched the above drawing of Princess Leia meeting all the other classic Disney princesses.
Phillip Sevy, an artist known as thecreatorhd on DeviantArt, did a drawing of all the Disney princesses wearing sexy slave girl outfits in Jabba’s lair.

Another artist, Naima Sawyer-Dymski, drew the Disney princesses as Jedi knights and other “Star Wars” characters.
My favorite recent mashup is a movie poster for “Princess Leia and the Seven Jawas,” a take-off on “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” of course. It was done by artist Jozef Kyselica.

Artist Christopher Stoll depicted several Disney princesses as Marvel superheroes the Avengers in his artwork. Disney bought Marvel Entertainment in 2009.
And artist Witit Karpkraikaew drew Disney princesses as grotesque living-dead zombies.

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