Björn Griesbach gives us a cool, contemporary take on classic fairy tale characters in his illustration series Modern Grimm.
Modern Grimm shows the beloved characters we all know, like Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella, but also adds a few of the lesser known characters from the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm. Jorinda, of the tale Jorinda and Jorindel, is a young woman who was captured and transformed into a nightingale by a witch shortly before her wedding. She is shown sitting in a bird cage, with several other birds in cages in the background. The Youth Who Went Forth to Learn What Fear Was tells of a boy who undertakes a variety of scary tasks in order to learn how to shudder. The boy is shown here in a graveyard, reading a book, while a ghostly hand reaches toward him.
The illustrations also have modern aspects added to the scenes: Sleeping Beauty is a girl in a coma, with an oxygen tube in her nose. The Pied Piper is shown as a character on a TV screen being watched by children. Red Riding Hood is shown riding her bike into a forest filled with traffic signs, and the Wolf is shown as a serial killer wearing a wolf mask.
I like how each illustration combines different styles of drawing. The main characters are shown in a more realistic style with shading and depth, while other elements are left “unfinished” — as line drawings filled with flat colour or just outlines. The images also have a mostly desaturated look, but with some bright red details. This style, and the content, reflects the darker tone many of the stories have in their original versions.