Lisa Penz Art

Going Back to Grimm

December 5, 2011

Charlize Theron, the Evil Queen ©2011 Universal Studios

'Still The Fairest' by Lisa Penz

Is it any wonder that fairy tales are coming back into our mainstream Pop culture? In late 2009 I created my take on The Brothers Grimm fairy tales — a series depicting defining moments of female heroines, who served as my role models growing up. Why were these characters so appealing to me..?

In 1937 Disney debuted their first Fairy Tale “Princess” feature — Snow White was an instant success. A year ago Disney announced that they would stop making fairy tale films, stating that these type of “Princess” films no longer appeal to children — a dramatic change as children today perceive our society values as being ‘sexy’ and ‘cool’ rather than being a princess. So why then, have two different Snow White feature films surfaced for release in theatres in 2012 – ‘Mirror, Mirror’ starring Julia Roberts and Snow White and the Huntsman’ starring Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron, directed by Rupert Sanders. Has anyone else noticed this trend? And The Brothers Grimm characters not only can be seen on the silver screen — they can also be found in new t.v. series Once Upon A Time and Grimm.

So it seems we are going back to darkness in a spin on traditional Grimms tales. It is becoming more and more apparent that we are living in a time where darkness speaks to people, amidst a blatant world of exposing all of oneself through media, people now crave the unseen, the mystère.

At the crux of it all there is a fascination that lies in the curtained and unexplained. Our human minds are still hungry for enchantment and the mythical. This is why I feel my paintings are relevant and topical today. What compels me to paint my own interpretation of these heroines is not only their beauty but their journeys told and the overcoming of surmountable obstacles that I found so appealing and enigmatical.

And why is the Snow White fairy tale coming back? Could it be that this fairy tale is resurfacing because it resonates with young adults and transports us back to our childhood? The fairy tale market segment used to only be children — now it belongs to us. The studios are finally doing the dark version of the story, an angle that they have not explored before which directly pertains to my paintings. Only now it’s being retold from a standpoint of darkness… of grim.

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