ARTIST: Miho Hiramatsu
MODEL: Nina Levinson
PHOTO: Miho Hiramatsu
Title: Mickey's Evil Magic
Walt Disney's first fully animated film, Mickey Mouse, pushed animation art into the mainstream. With his charismatic dance and whistling tune, Mickey became the most recognizable character in the world. When Snow White came on the big screen in full technicolor, it dazzled audiences and drew in the highest revenue. Quickly thereafter, Disney became a giant in not just animated film, but in toys and parks and franchise and copyright, with the ability to influence generations of young children and adults alike.
What are the costs of this huge success? We see from the very beginning--a sugar-coated secret message sang to us in sing-song lullabies: the idealization of the naive, passive young girl and the villainization of the strong, smart, proactive woman.
My art asks: what has been the impact of these characters? Mickey's ears, countlessly copied and parodied, are now covered in black feathers of the Raven, the conduit of the Witch Queen in Snow White. What is Mickey's intent? What else lurks up this magician's sleeves? What are Mickey's ultimate goals and driving force, if not to increase profit, illusion and exploitations?
The Magic Kingdom brings happiness to people... at a cost. And what cost are you willing to pay?