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Being somewhat of a tattoo aficionado (fifteen and counting), I thought this might make for an interesting topic for today’s Alice post. There are probably hundreds, if not thousands of Alice in Wonderland tattoos out there, but here are a couple good ones, mostly elaborate backpieces, gathered from around the ‘net. (I also recommend the blog Contrariwise, devoted to literary tattoos, which is doing an Alice theme this week as well.)
Of course, I’m planning on getting my own Alice tattoo eventually (just a matter of money, as with all tattoos, and of priority, as I have several that will probably come before it). I haven’t quite decided on the design yet, though. I love the Tenniel illustrations, but they are very common. I thought it might be more special to get one of the illustrations that Lewis Carroll drew himself (which I mentioned in my post about Alice art), which would not only connect me to the author, but provide an interesting conversational piece – plus I find them to be creepy as hell, which is a big selling point in my book. Unfortunately, many of my favorite scenes aren’t in the Carroll-illustrated original edition (the tea party, the cheshire cat), but looking through the book I found one that stuck out for me, just for its otherworldly creatures and the alienated look on Alice’s face – not characters that normally speak to me, but I really like the image:
Many artists have illustrated editions of Alice in Wonderland, or used the books as inspiration for their own work. It would be almost impossible to give a complete list of these, but this site from Lauren Harman has extensive examples. I also recommend The Art of Alice in Wonderland by Stephanie Lovett Stoffel, a beautiful hardcover book showing a wide range of Alice illustrators.
Some of my favorites include:
Arthur Rackham, 1907
Greg Hildebrandt, 1991 (my Blogger icon is also from his series)
Did you know that Salvador Dali did some Alice paintings?
And honestly, I quite like the original Tenniel illustrations.
But even before Tenniel, the very first illustrator was Lewis Carroll himself, who drew the pictures in the first edition, Alice’s Adventures Under Ground. While not technically very skilled, I feel that these illustrations do convey some of the surreal qualities of the story quite well.
Alice has inspired some great photography as well. Here’s an interesting Annie Leibovitz photo shoot for Vogue featuring Alice characters.
There are so many others, I wish I could show them all, but I encourage anyone interested to do some extensive image searches on Google to see some of the variety available from both professional and amateur artists. Every time I do this, I find something new and wonderful – and often more original and unusual than anything published in mainstream outlets. For instance, just now, looking for some images of the White Rabbit, I found this offering from petit_elfe on Photobucket. I will leave you with this as a reminder of how dark and strange the world of Alice can be (I wouldn’t want it any other way)…