Midnight at the Halloween Ball: Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf

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Midnight at The Halloween Ball: Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf

20″x20″ acrylics on canvas This painting is unframed. $575 Painting + $30 Shipping + $34.50 MD Tax Payment plans may be available. Please inquire.

$639.50

I am intrigued by the sophistication of “Fairytales”. Their mythopoetic depth belies a judgement that these stories are primarilyfor children. There is no question in my mind that The Red Riding Hood Myth resonates with comprehensive and ambigious themes and expressions of sexuality, violence in human relations, violence against women, vulnerability and threat in navigating childhood and the course of a life, the fall from innocence – all achingly adult themes. Red Riding Hood for me is a powerful heroine, one who takes and overcomes risk, is threatened and fights against male violence, and has to relinquish childish (childlike) niavity to follow her path through the woods. (The dark wood for me is the same dark wood Dante navigates – the dark wood of the self). I intended to work against some of the predjuces in our western, patriarchal representations of these seminal myths, as well as some classical versions of the myth. My wife and I have remarked when watching movies how often we see women partially clad or fully unclad during sex scenes, while their male counterparts remain clothed. I have deliberately reversed this standard in my depiction, as part of retelling the tale in a way that seems relevant in the early 21st century.

Another way this painting speaks to me is in a more superficial way – though I don’t intend to be pejorative. I am referring to action on the surface. For me the painting swirls and resonates with the romance, intrigue and danger of the dance. There is a little bit of Poe’s “Danse Macbre” surfacing in the embrace – though with less of the occult and far less of the sanguine. There are ghosts though – ghosts of both selves (mostly visible as fading or faint impressions of prick ears) as the seperate dancers merge into a single twirling being.

This painting was delivered to me in the most natural and easy way – my favorite experience of painting. I have blank canvases mounted around my studio and use surplus paint from any project I am working on applied to these canvases to avoid waste. I turn off my front brain and apply the paint by gutmove – then let a relevant theme emerge through a lot of staring over time. The ontology choreographed into this painting was almost immediately visible to me after dry-brushing in the figures. Then, halloween arrived followed by the photos from a relative of mine and her significant other dressed up as Red and Wolf. The family photo of their costumed selves functioned as a kind of fulcrum within which everything came together. I have read a lot and considered this myth over time, and it all settle into place in a final day of applying paint.

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