Los Angeles-based artist Paul McCarthy has been exploring and reinterpreting the 19th century German folk tale, Schneewittchen, and the 1937 animated Disney adaptation, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, in a variety of mediums. In 2009, Hauser & Wirth presented a series of McCarthy's drawings based on the "dark psychological and social undercurrents of the original 19th century tale" (from show's press release) and the sanitized, Disney-fied retelling of the 20th century version. The gallery currently has on view The Dwarves, The Forests, a series of bronze sculptures of disfigured, grotesque dwarves that expands on the artist's examination of the children's stories.
Along with the dark, malformed dwarves with phalluses protuding from faces that appear to be melting or falling apart, McCarthy created a massive carved wooden sculpture of an orgasmic Snow White and grinning Dopey (referencing Gian Lorenzo Bernini's sculpture Transverberation of Saint Teresa) and two maquettes of mystical forest landscapes that serve as models for sets for performances and films the artist is planning for the future.
While inspired by the German folk tale and the Disney story, McCarthy adds a personal touch to the works by combining his "memories and impressions of the deep forests and magical clearings on his own property above the Mojave Desert." McCarthy's dark, intense, nightmarish take on the Snow White stories is way beyond Fractured Fairy Tales. It has positively evolved from his 2009 show of drawings which I posted about here. I'm looking forward to see where he takes Snow White and the dwarves next. Learn more at Hauserwirth.com. Closes December 17th.