“Twice-Told Tales” Enchant The Flower Pepper Gallery

0 Comments 18 January 2014

flower pepper gallery

Feature on the “Twice-Told Tales” exhibition at The Flower Pepper Gallery.

by Daniel Barron



Things are looking mighty Grimm at Pasadena’s Flower Pepper Gallery these days.  See what I did there?  Daniel, you scoundrel!  For “Twice-Told Tales,” curator Nicole Bruckman assembled thirty artists to offer their visual interpretations of the stories passed on by the famous Brothers Grimm. Embracing the whimsical, the weird, and the macabre, they are a tribute to the durability of these concepts, which have been retold and reimagined through one of the most enduring games of cultural telephone in existence.  It’s timeless tales rendered immortal from one storyteller through another.  Take a bite of the apple when the show opens on Saturday, January 25th and may your enemies suffer a horrific moralizing death.




chrystal chan art




“[My painting] is called ‘Briar Rose’ (named after the original title of Sleeping Beauty, the story I chose).  I’ve always loved the romantic, mysterious image of a lost sleeping princess in a castle surrounded by impenetrable thorn bushes, but wanted to stay away from the usually depicted moment of the prince waking her. So instead I chose a circular canvas and had the princess seen from above, sleeping on her bed, with animals of the forest peeking down at her in curiosity. I modeled her pose and clothing after the large brass figures on tombs in medieval English churches; living but not living; in fabulous limbo.”


stephen holman art



“I chose the story Brother and Sister.’  I guess I picked it because I like the fairy tales involving siblings that have to rescue each other.  My painting is from the part of the story after the brother is turned into a deer and he and his sister have to live in the woods together.  Even though he is a deer they are happy to be together.”


julianna swaney art




“I believe that faerie taleshold a bit of what we all regard as sacred from our childhood collective memories because they validate our common vision of hard-won wisdom and the strength of courage that is necessary in the face of adversity.
I chose ‘The Handless Maiden’…an obscure tale imbued with implied lessons to guide one through the complexities of life. It is about the transforming of sorrows into proud scars and seeing the beauty in our wounds… Only when we are able to embrace our hurts can we begin to tenderly shine the light on the shadow self.
 For me, this story is medicine. It inspired the sadness, questions, and longings that would organically bring healing to the surface. I believe the Maiden is a character we can all relate to when we give away too much.
This is the accompanying poem:
‘A poor bargain is made
When you don’t know your worth
And you give away more
Than you’d been given at birth.
And this bargain takes root
Before you give it much thought;
Till you cringe with remorse
When you see what you’ve bought.
But from this wound comes a knowing
That is part of the plan.
Although while you endure it,
You may not understand
That in a bargain with darkness
Lies a glimmer of light..
For wound is the price paid
For a new kind of sight.’
My assemblage is heavily influenced by the wild-women archetypes in ‘Women Who Run with the Wolves’ by Clarissa Pinkola Estés and the universal concept of ‘The Hero’s Journey,’ popularized by Joseph Campbell.
It has been said that my art gracefully accompanies self-exploration.”

stefanie vega art




“‘Keep Promise’ is a small detailed oil painting reflecting the tale commonly known as ‘The Frog Prince.’  This piece was created to reflect the Germanic provenance of the tale as retold by the Grimm Brothers.  The text, frame, color, and quality is meant to recapture some of the romantic German nationalism that was so important (and occasionally controversial) to the Grimm Brothers.  In addition, as these tales often do, there is a common truth to be found: keep your promises (and be nice to frogs!).”


susanne apgar art



“‘Hansel and Gretel’ is one of my favorite Grimm stories of all time. Who wouldn’t love a story based on an enchanted candy paradise? I chose it so I could live out my personal fantasy and obsession with sweets. However, in my version, there is no witch, and there is no happy ending, at least not for the kids, as they are happily consumed by the many sweet antagonists within the forest.”


tiffany liu art





martin hsu art




“It’s based on the story called ‘The Golden Bird.’  I chose this story partly because of how strange it is, with the fox guiding the princess through the story and wanting the Prince to kill him in the end.  I thought it was a story that could use some re-thinking.  So I decided to concentrate on the princess and the bird.”


deanna adonna








“My piece is entitled ‘Unbecoming,’ and it’s an interpretation of the evil queen from ‘Snow White.’  I wanted her to embody both beauty and decay, as well as majesty and menace.  Her large golden crown is comprised of radiating daggers, and it is ultimately her evil way that trap her like a prisoner.”
edward cao art








[From the press release] “The Brothers Grimm had a dark overtone to them prior to being reworked, making them more suitable for children.  ‘Life Is A Pigsty’ is a piece based off of ‘The Fishermen and His Wife.’  I wanted to touch on the darker aspect of the original story.  ‘Life Is A Pigsty’ focuses on the fisherman’s unhappiness and the emotional conflict between him and his wife.  In the story visual cues are given to indicate the escalating emotional turmoil that both the fisherman and the enchanted prince endure due to the wife’s greed.”






My piece is based of a classic Grimm’s Story, ‘Cinderella.’  While I am a fan of most of their stories, I really like ‘The Seven Ravens’ and ‘Our Lady’s Child,’ I think there are quite a few who do not know how the story goes  in the ‘Grimm’ version of these classic  stories.  In Cinderella the two step-sisters go to such crazy lengths to win the prince that one of them cuts off a toe, and the other cuts her heel, so they could fit into the shoe.  The Prince notices the blood on their stockings and sends them away.  At Cinderella’s wedding to the Prince, both sisters get their eyes plucked out by a white pigeon, and as it says in the story  ‘They were condemned to go blind for the rest of their days because of their wickedness and falsehood.'”
audrey pongracz art
“I am often drawn to ‘bad guys’ from stories, as they are more complex and challenging to understand.  The Evil Witch from ‘Sleeping Beauty’ (I am intentionally not calling her Maleficent since that’s a Disney character) is a powerful, misunderstood woman whose feelings got unfairly hurt which causes her to go into massive rage.  I tried not to respect the black-and-white storytelling of the Brothers Grimm completely and portray this troubled angry woman as  vulnerable and misunderstood, as well.  I’ve been fascinated by that character since I was a little girl and I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to bring her to life for the ‘Twice Told Tales’ show.”
jel ena art
“I chose ‘The Three Little Men in The Wood.’  I just liked that the moral of the story was basically ‘don’t be a jerk.’  I feel like that’s a good general rule.  Also, it gave me an opportunity to make a cute princess and three little dudes!’
jaw cooper art

“Twice-Told Tales” opens at the Flower Pepper Gallery on Saturday, January 25th and runs thru Friday, February 28th.

Learn more about past and future exhibitions at the Flower Pepper Gallery website.


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- who has written 424 posts on Yay! LA | Arts & Culture Magazine.

Rudderless college graduate Daniel Barron founded Yay! LA Magazine on a love of writing, passion for the arts, and a firm belief that people really like talking about themselves. He contributed to a number of publications, including LA Music Blog and the defunct The Site Unscene, before deciding to cover arts and entertainment the way he wanted to read it. He works as a freelance writer and digital PR consultant in his current home of Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter at @YayDanielBarron.

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