"So I met dis REAL LIFE Snow White ..." & simbolism of character.
About 6 years ago, I found a literary analysis page about Grimm brother's Snow White original tale. The article was mainly about historically plausible sources for certain elements, focusing on how Snow White's characteristic fisonomy may refer to some german folk myths about a triple goddess, personification of the so called 3 ages of femininity, represented by colors:
WHITE - the girl/maiden RED - the woman/wife BLACK - the old woman/widow
There also were mentions on the simbolism of tropos like barefoot (representing childhood, innocence and sexual immaturity), apples (Genesis myth, Hesperides, etc), mother-daughter rivalry (some psychoanalytical bullshit you may all have heard about), dwarves (non sexual and all alike men, fwhom S.W. have to separate from in order to become a grown up woman) and so on. Unfortunately, I lost the source and all my notes from it, years ago; but the thing is I ended up being sincerely fascinated with the S.W. character, and so I longed to draw it. I tried to imagine her or use some models, but didn't work; suddenly, I met a girl who was more of S.W. than anyting I could possibly conceive; I remember having stared at her amazed, just thinking: "I can't believe it: I found her; that's her; in flesh; in front of me"...
Apart from drama, the point is that around those days I could finish up to 22 drawings about this girl. Honestly, I had never really dealt before with the problems of portraying young women; so it served me like a sort of training: a certain -say- defined (yet formulaic) style of drawing women arouse from that research (a style that now I long to leave behind, for new and better results); the works of Rackham, Schiele and Klimt were fundamental influences. So now I left you with some of those drawings, thanking for your concern and waiting for your honest critique.
Leave the tampon the hell out; nobody wants to see that. Try to represent menstruation in another way. I mean, portray her getting an abortion, portray her pregnant, portray her BUYING tampons, portray her with birth control...women have dealt with reminders of menstruation for waaaay too damn long, and men just don't get it.
Other than that, this is interesting. I'll dissect it later.
I didn't actually mean to be disturbing. In fact, initially she was holding a broom
(just sweeping); the tampon thing came, mostly, from pursuing the bodyline not
to be broken by the item, along with the analogy in color with her lips and flushed
cheeks. Now that I think about it, a rose would have had it done but who just
contemplates roses or does housework in panties?...
Anyway: I'm leaving menstruation alone for good (lol); and I'll be glad to hear results
from your critical dissection. Thanks.
Last edited by elemile; May 16th, 2010 at 01:16 PM.
Ok, I see your point and I agree. I used to claim being against gratuitous vulgarity in all arts,
unless it served clearly to make a statement in a bigger -say- theoretical or conceptual frame.
But I'm obviously failing on self-criticism... I promise I'll try harder, in later works.
Also, it called my attention that you find this somehow impressionist, cause I always thought
these works were in the right opposite. I mean: they're sort of a personal diary, in wich characters
and objects work to represent the world not as I see it, but the way I've intellectualized it, to make
it my own; wich I guess would set me quite closer to expressionism or simbolism (surrealism, maybe,
considering some oniric qualities)...
But excuse me if I divague; not trying to be a snob here, just genually happy and intrigued
by your comment. And I'm glad that you share part of the fascination with S.W. character.
Thanks a lot, man; being seeing you around.
Last edited by elemile; May 17th, 2010 at 09:43 PM.
Don't let other people dissuade you from doing what you feel is appropriate to the nature and feelings of your work. If they don't like it, like my mother has always said - you don't need to look at it.
They can grow up and take into mind that not everyone finds it disgusting and horrible. And I don't feel it was appropriate to bash on you for the use of a tampon (used or otherwise.)
If they don't like the reference to menstruation(sp?) they can choose not to look at that image. It seems a more personal piece, something I wouldn't choose to use in a professional portfolio, but not a piece that should be considered vulgar because of it's content. It's simply one of those "different strokes for different folks" type of images.
Carry on, making art dude. Don't let other people talk you out of it. Where would we be if Michelangelo took in the comments of the clergy while doing the Sistine Chapel? It'd be a bunch of dressed, boring images.
You made me think, with your example of Michelangelo, about Manet and how his Olympia, wich now we see academic and conservative, was considered vulgar (even grotesque) among the critics of those days. The history of art and science is plenty of these cases; the thing is, of course, that the only actual referee to tell misunderstood genius from plain vulgarity (or madness), is history itself; I mean; it's only for the people of the future, to be able to see back at our time with new eyes, reinterpretating and judging us by inedit frames and standards. I don't think what I do could ever be considered groundbreaking; and that's why I now long to be first regarded, at least, as sufficient, among contemporary artists that I consider actually good; but in any case, after this reflexion, I salute your past defense of the artist freedom, and thank you for your statement against self-censoring for the sake of art...
Tl;dr You might be right. I'll do take it into consideration. Thanks for commenting :-)
Last edited by elemile; May 28th, 2010 at 04:06 AM.
I have indeed considered the posibility of turning this into a serious project; something
maybe, as you somehow pointed out, a bit in the way of Baz Luhrmann's Romeo+Juliet:
a revival of Grimm brothers S.W. original tale, but accompanied with contemporary (somehow
sexy pop-cultured) illustrations for a mature audience; and with the plus of an analytical
addendum, like in a sort of academic making-of of the tale with all these references to
myths and stuff...
It could work... or no; I don't know. But I still have to do much better, technically, stylistically
and theoretically, before even start considering the idea once again.
Thank you both.
Last edited by elemile; June 7th, 2010 at 05:46 AM.