Most, if not all of these things have quite a bit in common. Exploring humanity and monstrosity is a very common theme among these works of fiction and works of art, as well as obsession, love, and the uneasy, awkwardness of navigating sexuality. Many also involve different forms of Frankenstein's creatures or Tin Man archetypes.
“Princess Monster Wife” is an episode of Adventure Time, an American Cartoon that formerly aired on Cartoon Network. This episode has been important to my work because it is a horrifying and comedic take on the myth of Pygmalion and Galatea. In the Greek Myth the sculptor (Pygmalion) creates a marble sculpture (Galatea) that he falls in love with, begging Aphrodite to bring her to life. They fall in love, and even have a child. In the Adventure Time episode, Ice King, a morally gray wizard robs body parts from multiple different princesses in the Land of Ooo to create himself a wife. Similar to Galatea, Princess Monster Wife is a sort of imagined ideal that falls in love with her creator, however not only is she an abomination but the episode itself is strangely tender. This Frankenstinian format is something I have been using as a metaphor for the imaginary partners and fantasies that many people, women especially, create and harbor. Princess Monster Wife is her own person, who wants to live a quiet life with the wizard who made her, but she knows her existence is wrong, and she returns each part of herself to the princess it belongs to. The Lunatic stands out, not only because it is a painting, but because it has more to do with the delusion of motherhood, a false log-child being cradled close to the woman’s body. Instead of creating a creature to love, she uses the log as her imagined stand-in. This painting can be read as a political allegory, but I was personally shaken by this painting after my emotional experiences with nannying. The
Phantom of the Opera, Black Swan, Rusalka, Swan Lake, Giselle and The Red Shoes are all works that I have collected over time to work from as examples of obsession and unrequited love, as well as obsession of craft, artistry, and perfection. I pull from these things often for both imagery and return to them for inspiration.
Everything here also here (save for The Red Shoes), has something or someone that is false or monstrous in some way or another. Monsters and creatures and wooden logs and statues. This is a motif I am constantly running around. Typically I use the false or empty this externally as something that has been created to fill a void, and internally as a reckoning with my own feelings of monstrousness and being an outsider.