murals, pop art, portraits by Maria Beadell
Dirty Disney! There is always more to something than what meets the eye...
Inspired by a project to paint a friend's door with a pin-up girl meets Bambi character, I decided to embark on a series of small paintings of Disney characters morphed with classic American pin ups a la Alberto Vargas/Playboy style. I've started with three images, each of a classic Disney character (Mickey, Dumbo and Bambi) with various parts of their bodies morphed into sexy pin up girls. I thought it was a humorous and interesting mix of classic imagery of the American 'Golden Age' of the 40's and 50's - the sanitised, cutesy child-like Disney characters, usually paired with a moral message (especially in the case of Bambi and Dumbo) and the wholesome, 'all-American' pin-ups. Putting these two together produces images that are at once colourful and pleasing to look at, and also slightly disturbing. The slight unease I feel when viewing them is compounded by the often dark and troubling history surrounding studio treatment of so-called 'pin-up girls' and indeed, actresses of the period (casting couch anyone?). Behind those smiles and carefree poses, there was often a dark story. Similarly, there have been plenty of conspiracy theories surrounding Disney films concerning subliminal messages, studio mistreatment of actors and in extreme cases, satanic links!
Enjoy the images and make of them what you will. They will be on display at the Urban Art Fair July in Brixton and A4 archival quality prints are available to buy.