• Fairy Tales
  • Fairy Tales
  • Fairy Tales
  • Fairy Tales
  • Fairy Tales
  • Fairy Tales
Artist Veikko Hirvimäki Howling, Black ink on wood - Gallery Forsblom.
Bag by Emporio Armani.
Leather dress by DKNY.
Artist Trine Sondergaard Guldnakke # 4 Archival inkjet print - Gallery Bruce Silverstein.
Satin cape by Burberry Prorsum.
The Fairy Tales of The Brothers Grimm by Taschen.

    Once upon a time and ever after...

    25 March 2013

    By Barbara Allmann

    Once upon a time and ever after – how fairy tales inspire us

    Take the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm, for instance, published by Taschen in a modern translation with charming artistic illustrations dating from the 1820s to the 1950s. The roughly 200 classic Grimm’s fairy tales are among the world’s most widely read “story collections” after the Bible. With “Oz the Great and Powerful,” or “Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters,” Disney proves that fairy tales can also become box office hits. The latter, an American-German action-horror movie full of black humor, is meant as a sequel to the Grimm’s fairy tale written in 1812.
    According to experts, the unabated interest in fairy tales is not surprising. American psychoanalyst Bruno Bettelheim even said that children need fairy tales. Anita Johnston, a clinical psychologist based in Hawaii who has used fairy tales from around the world to treat eating disorders, shares his opinion. By listening to fairy tales, myths and legends, patients learn to use the language of metaphors – the language they have to understand to find their own inner truth and get healthy again.

    In theory, film as a medium can revive fairy tales in a way that lets them fully display their original effect. Yet, some movie makers fail in this endeavor, at least in the eyes of the critics. Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland,” for example, was panned by the critics but adored by audiences around the globe. All the more reason for Hollywood to produce more fairy tale movies: the to-do list includes, among others, “The Beast” and “Cinderella.”

    Once upon a time and ever after: fairy tales are quite realistic and vigorous messages to the subconscious mind that comprehends the language of images. They depict common relationship conflicts and ways to resolve them, the development of personality, the balance between good and evil, the longing for justice – in other words, forces acting similarly around the world. Fairy tales are closely linked with their illustrations. One simple click on artpassions.net shows how a whole group of artists creatively deals with this topic, with the illustrators who created their own masterpieces leading the way, for instance Arthur Rackham or Kay Nielsen.

    Apart from movie makers and illustrators, artists from other genres have been inspired by fairy tales as well. There are modern writers who adopt the simple narrative style to describe certain human conditions of existence. Or composers of classical music who, inspired by the Brothers Grimm, wrote operas based on Hansel and Gretel or Cinderella. Others take a more simple approach, for example Andrew Queen, who writes lyrics for his fairy tale songs, or chefs who assemble magical menus. And then there is American artist Chloe Potter, who explores the “dark psychological elements in fairy tales, horror stories and mystery movies” through photographs, focusing on the characters themselves rather than labeling them as “good or evil.” After all, it’s up to the viewer to find that out.

    © ZIP Magazine 2021, Design by TODA