CULTURE & ARTS
01/08/2015 11:09 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Enchanting Silhouettes Bring Brothers Grimm Fairytales To Life Like You've Never Seen Before

From the pages of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales spring a myriad of vibrant, dark and haunting images -- whether it's a little red cape bobbing through the forest on her way to granny's house, or a young brother and sister weaving their way through the towering woods, a trail of breadcrumbs in their wake.

frog key

Artist Andrea Dezso brings the images whirling in your mind to life -- though, not quite as you might initially imagine. Her stark, black-and-white silhouettes combine simplicity and whimsy to create monochromatic stories that leap off the page and into the depths of your most thrilling childhood memories.

"I grew up in Transylvania, where my grandmother used to read me the Brothers Grimm fairytales in Hungarian from the time I was very young," Dezso explained to The Huffington Post. "The settings of the tales felt like the forests, villages and fields I was familiar with and the characters became part of my extended family. For me the tales took place in the neighboring village or the forest up the street from our house. These were not the sanitized versions of the tales either, I remember well Cinderella’s stepsisters who cut off chunks of their large feet to fit into the glass slippers. I think these stories were read to us to teach us lessons, too. I appreciated that, as tough as life was for our family, at least they weren’t leaving me behind in the forest."

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As an adult, Dezso revisited these classic tales, transforming the fabled tales into crisp visions that would make Jacob and Wilhelm proud. "I wished to find the heart of each tale and express it visually. My aim was to create a feeling of atmosphere that could convey a strong sense of place and I wanted the drawings to look like made-up folk art, instead of simply relying on details from the region or period."

The images, like the original texts themselves, outline the stories we all know and love, allowing the viewer to fill in the blanks with whatever details flood to mind. "I chose tales to illustrate that gave me immediate, strong mental images as I read them. The images that popped into my mind first are generally what I illustrated. Using silhouettes leaves room for the reader’s imagination; not everything is concrete, it’s more a conjured world of dreams, in the same way that the Grimms' tales invite in the reader."

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