• Peter Marsh

Corruption- The Inspiration: Disney, Infamy/fame & Downward Spirals 2013-2016.

Updated: Jan 3, 2019

"Miley Killed The Teen Dream. Deal With It!" and "Britney Killed The Teen Dream. Deal With It!" are parodies of Darren Stain's 1999 teen, dark comedy film Jawbreaker. The film follows an exclusive clique of teenage girls- the "Flawless Four". The most popular girls at Regan High, both admired and hated. The girls decide to play a prank on Elizabeth Purr; (the sweetest and kindest of the girls, described as the "Princess Di of Regan High") on the morning of her 17th birthday. The prank involved kidnapping her, tying her up, gagging her with a jawbreaker and driving off with her in the car boot of Courtney Shayne- the sociopathic "Satan in heels" played by Rose McGowan. The joke went terribly wrong after Liz had swallowed the jawbreaker, choked and died. Courtney had no remorse and did everything in her power to cover their homicidal mistake. "I killed Liz. I killed the teen dream. Deal with it," blasted over the sound system revealing the truth at Regan High's senior prom. I took this quote and applied it to pop culture. 

The image I created parodies the film and depicts the once real life "teen dreams", Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus. They both destroyed their public persona as sweet, all American "girl next door" types and the idea of pop perfection, killing the illusion of "the teen dream".  Both shedding their role model status and rebelling from the constricting image of the ideal pop princess that they and the people surrounding their brand spent years constructing; exposing the fakery of the pop industry and the pressure to stay perfect without a lot of room for growth.

This image parodies the 1951 Disney's Alice In Wonderland, putting former child star, Lindsay Lohan in replace of Alice. The courtroom scene in Alice in Wonderland shows Alice frustrated with her situation with a defiant attitude. In a similar way, Lohan was jurying her infamous legal battles, wearing "fuck you" drawn on her finger nails, not completing her community services and breaking her probation.  

In Alice in Wonderland, the nonsense law, the Queen of Hearts and the rest of Wonderland turned against her. Although  Lohan was in the wrong by breaking the law, like Alice, it seemed everyone had turned against her; the law, the media, Hollywood etc. When a scandal involving a star turned celebrity breaks out, everyone wants to know what's happening and what will they do next. Once she was out of the court, the news was in the tabloids. The media followed her around capturing every move Lohan made whilst creating a cash cow out of her down fall. There's no escape in "Wonderland".

In my illustration, I personified the tabloid magazines and other celebrity medias such as OK! magazine and E! Entertainment as the jury to show this judgment.

I feel as though Alice in Wonderland could perhaps explain a troubled child star. They've being throw into an unusual, grown up situation, going to exclusive places and meeting extraordinary characters. They are surrounded by "yes" people, exploring drugs and alcohol, losing themselves or not knowing who they are to began with and life doesn't make sense to them.  

A young Drew Barrymore, a regular at Studio 54. She was smoking at the age of 9, drinking by 11 and snorting cocaine by the age of 13.  Her parting became a popular subject by the media. At age 14 she was in and out of rehab and even tried to kill herself.   

Like a Disney film, we've all seen these type of stories play out over and over but we still are obsessed with them.  

Take the story of Pinocchio and Justin Bieber. A young boy, scouted, promised fame and fortune, goes to "Pleasure Island" with the bad boys and turns into a jackass. Returns as a "real boy" after he proves himself to be "brave, truthful and unselfish".   

Photographed by Natalie Marsh 2013©. Edited by Peter Marsh.

In 2013, I designed a waist coat/sleeveless jacket with two oversized, detachable collars- one being larger. I wanted to distort the size of the collars to create an "eat me, drink me" style of Alice in Wonderland or the growth of Pinocchio's nose. I think this representation of the distortion of size is a metaphor for right and wrong. Indulge or give in to temptation and face the consequences, good or bad. 

I based the colours on the red apple in Snow White. The colours had to be enticing, almost tasty so it would have that "take a bite" quality.

The fabric is leather. The connotations of leather (bad ass, skin, hard, sex, S&M) adds to this mood of seduction.

I used a mixture of pictures of superstars before and after their downward spirals or just being rebellious and Disney characters doing the "wrong" thing; combining them together on print designs to be digitally printed. I distorted the imagery so they looked more pixelated, hazy, corrupt and broken and altered the colours to fit my colour scheme.

I remember when I was a kid, my dad pissed on his Playstation when he was drunk, it still worked but the colours were distorted and weird; I wanted to recreate that effect. The print has a look of a crashed computer screen when too may windows are open and you get this merge of images or mixed signals on the satellite dish due to bad weather and such. This was a representation of how we see the pop culture through the media, a computer or a television.  

I wanted to create this feeling of uncertainty of what it is that the view is seeing. A psychedelic, glitchy look. Somewhat like a "magic eye".

I wanted to represent this society where being famous is obsolete and seen as so desirable even when we've seen the downfalls and struggles; mental torture of being relevant but sticking to that polished public perpetuation of who they are. I think maybe the downward spirals are part of this fairytale a lot of people want to be in even when they don't have happily ever afters.

.....To be continued.

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