Beauty and the Beast


Well-known member
After several paintings exploring the possibility of employing characters from popular culture with more "classical" painting elements, I began to mull over the theme of the "Beauty & the Beast. I had been thinking about a variety of classic faerie tale narratives as being more accessible... or more immediately recognizable than the classic Greco-Roman and Biblical narratives from art history.

I was especially enamored of a painting on the theme by Thomas Blackshear:


I liked the idea of the unequal couple... a theme explored by many German artists including Hans Baldung Grien and more recently: Otto Dix & George Grosz. I wasn't sure how I wanted to tackle this theme... until I stumbled upon photographs from the most ridiculous fashion show:


I immediately thought of Herman Munster.


And if Herman was the "Beast", Yvonne De Carlo, who played his wife in the old TV series, would obviously be his wife. But not Yvonne De Carlo as Lily Munster...

munsters (32).jpg

... but rather the young, gorgeous Yvonne De Carlo, the sultry Hollywood sex symbol:


As I suggested elsewhere, I've long had a "love-hate" relationship with Mannerism. One of the elements I enjoyed in Mannerist art was the sense of satire and humor. I realized what I was pondering was likely to take on a real comic edge. I decided to push it for all it was worth. I began this painting in Mid-October while I was taking a college class in order to earn the continuing education hours required of teachers. I thought this painting could be perfect for Halloween. I was using Halloween imagery in school with the students emphasizing the secondary colors: Green, Orange, and Purple. That was a color combination I had never used myself, so I decided to make a point of using it now. The implied narrative of Herman and Lily (Yvonne) took on an absurd post-coital aspect:

26. BeFunky_Beauty and the Beast Final.750.jpg

In spite of the humor, I didn't want the painting to be "half-assed". Like the Mannerist paintings I admired, I wanted the end result to be every bit as "polished" as any of my other paintings.

Beauty and the Beast-Herman1.700.jpg

Beauty and the Beast.DeCarlo.700.jpg

My one studio partner... yes "that" one again... absolutely hated it because he believed that art needed to be serious. I don't agree at all. That said, This painting remains unique among the whole of my output as perhaps my most absurd. Although some may disagree, citing other paintings.
That fashion show! Ha ha ha!

I like your painting. It's crazy. I'm saying that as an artist that paints crazy things, so don't take that the wrong way.
It has your usual high level of finish alright, but I am still thinking about the rest of it.
Well done David! And the lady does, indeed, favor ❤ De Carlo.