“Mary’s Magical Metropolis”, Contemporary Modern Series, No. 74

4 Feb

Mary's Magical Metropolis

It’s interesting to find, when I’ve taken a retrospective tour of what visually guided me as a child, that I would end up here in the present, working for the very same entity that contained those influences.

I never thought that the repetitive process of watching Alice in Wonderland and my fascination with its background art work at 8 years old would somehow impact me in my work later on.

But really, when we look at the cognitive process of artists from their childhood, how could it not?

When I look at all the similarities to what I was attracted to visually with Disney as a child, I came up with this astounding commonality, that all the work was done by Mary Blair. From Saludos Amigos, to The Little House, Cinderella, Alice, and beyond.. these were all my favorites.

This would also explain why I would consistently board and reboard the Small World ride as a child. I have to give major credit to my parental units for dealing with that song OVER AND OVER again as I just sat there comatose, giggling, and drooling over all the shapes that passed through my eyes in that boat ride through the kaleidescoped wilderness of Mary Blair’s genius. .. only to have me scream “AGAIN!! AGAIN!!” when the ride ended.

As a young adult, pre-Disney, and struggling to understand myself, I found myself gravitating back to my childhood to figure out what were my major influences. In researching Mary Blair again, I found myself exhilarated by her story of being a prominent female in a world full of male animators and commercial artists. I found myself enthralled by her use of geometric architecture, and (while I couldn’t necessarily see it) the public’s response to her unique use of color. And sadly, I found myself heartbroken from all the years of pressure against her and her death in 1978.

This piece is called “Mary’s Magical Metropolis”, which reflects the whimsical architecture and color usage behind Mary Blair’s work. This runs as No. 84 in the TENxTENxTEN series.

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