On Saturday, Nov. 10, the Weatherspoon Art Museum held a gallery exhibit for the
“Dread & Delight: Fairy Tales in an Anxious World.” The art pieces that were on display focused solely on the tales of the Brothers Grimm, recreated from the artist’s own interpretation. From Rapunzel and Cinderella to Hansel and Gretel as well as a few unknown tales, each tale was recreated in the form of visual art instead of literature.
According to the art guide; the curator Emily Stamey became fascinated with the recent tales from the Brothers Grimm being recreated and retold in the cinematic universe. Stamey’s peak of interest caused her to investigate pieces of art based on the tales of Grimm. She discovered many different pieces of art that were inspired by the Grimm tales that were crafted with the artists’ own spin on the specific tale.
One piece of art that stood out was the “Ties of Protection and Safekeeping” created by MK Guth; an installation artist. The inspiration behind this art piece was from the famous Brothers Grimm tale known as Rapunzel. The piece is made up of hundreds of braids wrapped in ribbons all intersecting one another, the display looks as if it were a jungle made up of braids. The art piece is also known as performance art, meaning that not only did the artist create this piece but she had help by others creating the braids.
Not only does the display look as if you could get lost in a mass of vines, or in this case braids, each of the red flannel ribbons has a word on it, such as one that read ‘self respect.’ The reason behind this was that the artist, MK Guth, had students write one word that comes to mind when they think of the story of Rapunzel being locked away in a tower for her own protection.
The art guide further explained that the art piece measures out to about eighteen hundred feet long of braids.
Another piece of art that seemed to take on center stage at the gallery was the Cinderella carriage piece. Titled “Mother-Load” by Timothy Horn, it is a life-size Cinderella carriage made up of plywood, painted steel, aluminum foil, polystyrene foam, hot glue, acrylic medium, rock sugar and shellac.
Horn’s inspiration came from an interesting real-life Cinderella story of a laundress marrying a higher-class man, and never being truly accepted into the high life society. The laundress instead decided to collect art and establish a museum.
The art guide finished the tour with two unknown stories from the Brothers Grimm that aren’t well known in pop culture today. One of the stories is known as “All Fur” or the original German title “Allerleirauh.” It is a story of a king who promises his dying queen that he will marry the most beautiful woman after she has passed.
The king unable to find the most beautiful maiden other than his own daughter, the princess, decides to marry her. His daughter will only accept his proposal if he gives her three dresses and a few furs. After he does this, she flees the kingdom the night before the wedding.
The princess is in the woods when she is discovered by a king of another kingdom, and, not knowing that she is a princess, he makes her his servant. Each night she dresses in one of the three dresses that her father had given her, and attends a ball where she dances with this new king who she has met.
For three days, the princess dresses in each of the three dresses only for this new king to fall in love with her, but every night she keeps fleeing the ball after it’s over. By the third time he places a golden ring on her finger so that he can find her when she runs off and he will know it’s her. He learns that she is one of his servants when he sees the ring on her finger that he put there and in the end, he marries her.
This tale is recreated by the artist Natalie Frank in three portraits created with the use of color chalk on paper.
Frank’s color chalk is bright and colorful, she also recreates the father’s appearance as that of a donkey which could be symbolizing that the king is a ‘jack—’ for trying to marry his own daughter. The final portrait is of the princess removing her disguise that hid her true face, as it fades away from her face to reveal her beauty.
“I’ve always leaned more toward Renaissance art, to be honest,” one UNCG student stated on their favorite type of art.
Another UNCG student said, “We were actually recently at the Richmond museum and they had a couple of pieces by Alphonse Micko which was pretty cool.” Another student said that she prefers a lot of watercolor paintings.
If you have an interest in the Brothers Grimm and are a fan of art, check out the “Dread & Delight: Fairy Tales in an Anxious World” exhibit being held in the Weatherspoon Art Museum from now until Dec. 9, 2018.