Inspiring Fairy Tale Art

11 Apr

For most little girls, our notions of fashion and beauty began at a tender age when the magical spell of fairy tales were cast upon us in bedtime stories.

"Donkey Skin" by Claudia Griesbach-Martucci, above. Based on the French fairy tale "Donkey Skin" by Charles Perrault.

But seeing these fantastical tales come alive in room after room of brilliant artwork was really like a dream come true for me.

Just last week, I had the esteemed privilege of getting a sneak peak into the Visual Arts Gallery’s latest exhibit, Poisoned Apples and Smoking Lamps: Interpreting Fairy Tales and Adventure Stories.

I was left breathless. Seriously, I was in a dream world saturated with characters and beauty and horror and magic … and oh my goodness, color and detail and layers … Do you get the picture, well, hardly except that if you are local to New York, this is a must-see!

The exhibit, curated by Thomas Woodruff, opens Wednesday evening with a reception from 6 to 8pm and can be seen until April 23rd  at 601 West 26 Street, 15th Floor, in Chelsea.

Moreover, what astounded me was the collection of sheer talent from this sampling of third year BFA students of the School of Visual Arts’ Cartooning and Illustration Department.

"Little Mermaid" by Mary Valkosky/School of Visual Arts.

My little point and shoot mobile pictures do not bring one drop of justice to this exhibit of masterful story tellers.

For me, some of the projects took me to a far away land where I was inspired, fell in love and was on cloud nine — not necessarily in that order, nor co-dependent of each other.

Other stories had me laughing out loud — literally — and just applauding the sharp wit of the artist.

"Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" by Wilfrid d'Anjou/School of Visual Arts. Based on the Arthurian legend titled "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight."

Lastly, the artists reached deep into the annuals of folk lore finding stories that I did not know at all, or were faint echos in my memory.

The illustrations portray stories such as Earl Mar’s Daughter, Perrault’s Bluebeard, Oscar Wilde’s The Selfish Giant and the Brothers Grimm’s The Boy Who Learned About Fear.

All in all, the day that I spent at the School of Visual Arts and in this exhibit, reminded me of the vital importance of art and literature for nurturing the soul and mind, as well as spurring thought and inspiration.

So go read a classic or reach for an obscure tale, and then go to a local gallery opening or art museum.

Go get connected with imagination and expression!! And, then please tell me about your adventures!

“Hansel and Gretel” by Anne Rush/School of Visual Arts
(This story reminded me of the books I LOVE buying for my son and niece — just rich with detail and nuance. I hope to see more of Ashley Rush’s work in published books!)

"Thumbelina" by Anastasiya Filimonova/School of Visual Arts. Based on "Thumbelina" by Hans Christian Anderson.

(I LOVE the symbollic heart-shape of the sparrow's breast, as well as its open wings.)

"The Little Mermaid" by Kelly Teaman/School of Visual Arts

(The brilliance of this sunset and the moving water was hypnotizing to me -- so real it was surreal!)

"Wanted" by Ashley Garcia/School of Visual Arts

Also, "Wanted" by Ashley Garcia. (The 'wanted' posted was displayed to the left and the crime scene shown directly next to it. She had three additional scenes and posters. See Garcia's description, below, of her collection)

PS: As just one example of the genius of this body of students’ work, here is the self-written description of Ashley Garcia’s interpretation of fairy tales:

The Goldilocks "Wanted" poster shown next to the crime scene of the 3 Little Bears' home tossed and burgarlized.

“In just about every once upon a time there is always a bad guy, and these bad guys tend to be dealt with in a magical or fantastical sort of way. But what if all these villains were no longer part of a fantasy world but part of our own?

Now instead of magic and Princes, these bad guys have the cops on their tails. Wanted is here as a warning that these villains are hiding among hus, their crimes brought to you through the magic of 1930s black-and-white “photography”.

Keep alert: these creatures and people are evil, dangerous, and will most likely strike again unless they are caught. Plus, you might get a reward.”

What’s your favorite fairy tale? How does it inspire your style? The discussion’s live on the Thrifty Vintage Chic Facebook fan page!


2 Responses to “Inspiring Fairy Tale Art”

  1. Helen Ann April 12, 2011 at 11:58 PM #

    I have always loved fairy tales, am especially fond of “East of the Sun, West of the Moon,” read to my sister and me by our Grannie, many years ago. Thank you for sharing this art event with us. I wish I were able to see it in person. Did any of the images inspire you to create a fairy tale outfit?


  2. Candice May 5, 2011 at 3:33 PM #

    Amazing! You might enjoy a quick google on ‘fairies in Victorian literature’ I have always found these images intriguing.


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