The Dark Side of Disney

La Luz de Jesus Gallery, LA’s most influential contemporary art space, opens today with a Disney the kids have never seen. Torn from the headlines, Disasterland is the Mexican artist Rodolfo Loaiza‘s tribute to pop culture, fashion, animation, horror films, and the undeniable attraction of celebrity. Fantasy surrenders to the inevitable apocalypse of 21st-century Hollywood. Fairy tale characters dominate his latest project—this time, an orgy of tabloid scandal. See Snow White in her high-ho drunken state; tense up as Freddy Krueger menaces our own Sleeping Beauty; watch as a Tarantino-esque Mulan decapitates her prey.

Drunk on Love 2

Kill Mulan

Disasterland is replete with cleverly composed pop-culture critiques in a familiar and unexpectedly candid style. Indeed, if Loaiza’s art looks familiar, it’s possible that you saw his Drunk on Love 2 painting in any number of the gossip columns that posted Snow White and the Huntsman star Liberty Ross’s tweet about her co-star Kristen Stewart’s affair with director/husband Rupert Sanders. It’s also possible that you saw his Magic Meat Dress on Lady Gaga’s Little Monsters fansite. (Here is Loaiza’s Flickr page.)

Never Sleep Again

Paparazzi Night

7 thoughts on “The Dark Side of Disney

  1. GeeVee

    In the context of animation history, Disney, whether you love or hate him, schooled the majority of animators in Hollywood in the “golden era”, established the technical groundwork for character animation, and set certain benchmarks in the development of the art.  Now, he’s something of a punchbag because he echoes conservative values filtered through the jaundiced lens of contemporary conservatism, not to mention the behemoth corporate overtones of Disney’s present incarnation.  So these works are rather well-made but predictably cynical to deliver the political goods.   I also agree that the original fairy tales were a different animal in their symbolism but lots of films veer from their written roots to fit the form. 

  2. Merricat blackwood

    Acrobat – Disney has raped the fairy tale. The stories that the Grimms collected were a far cry from these ridiculous stories Disney concocted. The originals hold a deep and important symbolism and archetypes found in almost every aspect of them – food, clothing, numbers, colors, days of the week – its almost endless. These stories should be and are shared with children the world over in their purest form – id wager they would make you far more “uneasy” than the wonderful examples shown here. If anything, this showing will possibly come closer to the true fairy tale than Disney ever has.

  3. Steven Heller Post author

    CW – “new” was meant to modify “art” not “space.” Should have read “contemporary art space.” Sorry for the confusion. We at Print are well aware of La Luz de Jesus for many years.

  4. cw

    La Luz de Jesus Gallery has been an influential LA gallery since the 1980’s when it was above the Soap Plant on Melrose. They have always exhibited and sold works in this vein and established many famous artists careers. Not a new art space at all.

  5. Paper Acrobat

    Hmm… I’m not sure about this. If kids see this – this is the Internet – so they will, they are presented with a distorted image of what Disney is about, innocence and happiness. Using children’s images to promote adult themes just makes me feel uneasy.