Broken dreams: Dark new series of knitted artworks show childhood heroes as depressed, alcoholic and suicidal
16:18 GMT, 26 July 2012
Children beware – the world's best-loved storybook characters may never be viewed in the same light again.
A new exhibition by German artist Patricia Waller depicts childhood heroes such as Sesame Street's Ernie, Spiderman, Hello Kitty and Minnie Mouse from a terrifying new perspective.
Showing at Berlin's Deschler Gallery, Broken Heroes even features the ever-innocent Winnie-the-Pooh who has been hanged from a piece of rope.
A long way from Sesame Street: Ernie has grown a face-full of stubble and clutches a bottle of wine in artist Patricia Waller's new exhibition: Broken Heroes
Even Spiderman, the comic book world's
unstoppable action hero, has been caught in the middle of a tangled web,
dangling mid-air in one of the gallery's rooms.
Ernie, who is represented without his
trusty Sesame Street sidekick Bert, has grown a face-full of stubble
elsewhere in the exhibition.
A bottle of wine sits beside him as he
slumps against a wall, his beloved rubber duckie neglected on the floor
where his hand has fallen.
It's a far cry from the upbeat character that manages to bring smiles to even the smallest of children the world over.
Trapped: Spiderman has been caught in the middle of a tangled web, dangling mid-air
Creepy: Winnie-the-Pooh can be seen hanged from a piece of rope, while Spongebob SquarePants is draped in electrical circuit wire, his trademark smile still intact
Hello Kitty has been given a nod also. In a particularly horrifying piece, the Japanese character is seen stabbing herself in the stomach.
But just as terrifying is Minnie Mouse,
who appears to have been sexually assaulted as her underwear has slipped
down to her ankles and blood gushes from her crotch.
Superman can also be found in the gallery, though visitors may not recognise the high-flying hero at first.
The lower half of the sculpture's body sticks out of a wall as it appears that Superman has flown into the wall.
His bloodied body juts out, red lines streaming down to the floor.
Unsettling: In a particularly horrifying piece, Hello Kitty is seen stabbing herself in the stomach
Unhappy endings: Superman is shown having flown into a wall, while Minnie Mouse appears to have been sexually assaulted as her underwear has slipped down to her ankles and blood gushes from her crotch
The Sandman is also represented in a completely out-of-character scenario.
He may be shown snoozing but he is
surrounded by opened pill bottles, suggesting that the fictitious
character may have suffered from an overdose.
Spongebob SquarePants is also included.
The bubbly cartoon character is draped
in electrical circuit wire, his trademark smile still intact making the
artwork even creepier.
Out of all the pieces, Pinocchio has been approached in the most tame manner.
Out-of-character: The Sandman is seen in bed surrounded by opened pill bottles, suggesting that the character may have taken an overdose of sleeping pills or painkillers
More tame approach Pinocchio's growing nose is shown to have expanded so far that a tree has grown from his long branch, a lone bird rests upon it
The wooden storybook character's growing
nose is shown to have expanded so far that a tree has grown from his
long branch, a lone bird rests upon it.
Broken Heroes is one of a series of thought-provoking works by the knit artist.
Previous works have also included friendly characters such as Bugs Bunny and Bambi, shown in equally-unsettling settings.
The fact that Ms Waller uses wool to create such horror-induced scenes is a chilling aspect in itself.
Wool, much like these characters, are
far more recognised for their warm and comforting values – though one
would never guess looking at this exhibition.