Tom Kristensen, Sydney, Australia

'Sleeping Beauty'

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Artist's comments ...

Tom Kristensen Sydney, Australia Sleeping Beauty

I look at this print as a little bit sad, a little bit cruel; like a fairy tale.
In a nutshell: The kingdom waits long for the birth of a royal child. At her christening the beautiful girl is cursed to grow up and poison herself on the prick of a spinning wheel. After a life spent avoiding the wheel the beloved princess meets her fate and falls into a deep sleep. For a hundred years she lies comatose in a castle deep in the woods. The handsome prince parts the impenetrable forest and Sleeping Beauty is revived with a kiss.
Children and fertility are at the heart of the tale. Death is overcome with a kiss. In the fairy tale, as in Hollywood, life is linked with youth and beauty and sex. Marilyn Monroe died in 1962 without children but in her fame she is an immortal celebrity of sexual desire. Her beauty lies sleeping within the spinning reels of celluloid. Marilyn died from an overdose of prescription medication. She pricked herself on the barb of barbiturates. As she slipped from consciousness perhaps Marilyn hoped that her President would come to revive her.

Printed from cherry-faced poplar plywood blocks. Paper is Shioji kozo washi. Twelve impressions.
In 1954 when asked what she wore in bed Marilyn famously replied, "Two drops of Chanel No. 5." Coco Chanel is also famously quoted as saying, "A woman should wear perfume wherever she expects to be kissed." The No. 5 fragrance is famous for being the first perfume to rely on synthetic floral aldehydes, or plastic flowers. The endorsement of Marilyn for the No. 5 brand encouraged Andy Warhol to produce a set of silkscreen prints of the No. 5 perfume bottle.
Warhol was one of Marilyn's many admirers and in 1964 he lovingly produced her famous image from a promo shot taken by in 1953 by Gene Korman for the film Niagara.
As Hollywood could transform the normal woman, Pop Art would elevate the commonplace product to iconic status. The Warhol treatment of Campbell's soup cans encouraged the cult of brand awareness. The McDonalds brand has achieved a dominant place through relentless repetition of a theme and the saturation of visual culture. McDonalds burgers are sold with a logo that suggests a cleavage that is as much about finding love and comfort as it is about hunger. And as always, sex sells.