Alice & the Cheshire CatArtist: Harry Marinsky
Dates: b.1909, London, England
Dimensions: 10.5' x 8' x 10'
Current Location: Greenwood Village
View in Map Samson Park
Series: Alice In Wonderland
Related Work by Harry Marinsky: Click here
About Alice & the Cheshire Cat
Lewis Carroll wrote Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865), Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There (1871). Carroll was both a writer and photographer. His favorite subject to photograph was Alice Liddell. Lewis Carroll drew upon his photography as infinite inspiration for his writing. He spent a lot of time with Liddell, as well as other children. He found their innocent imaginations compelling, and considered them his young friends. Thus, he was able to create a fantastic realm where storytelling has no bounds.
When Alice falls down the rabbit-hole, she finds herself in a world where inanimate objects are personified, and eccentric characters toy with her wildly curious imagination. The White Rabbit is the first character Alice meets in Wonderland. He orders Alice to fetch his gloves and fan. Although Marinsky’s style is simple and sometimes minimal, the essential details are included. Marinsky etched patterns to give the illusion of varying textures, while leaving other surfaces smooth. When Alice sees the Cheshire Cat, he is always smiling. Sometimes he vanishes and reappears, and only the “Cheshire’s grin” is visible. Marinsky used a gold finish to accent these details. Alice changes sizes twelve times throughout the story. When she meets the silent Caterpillar sitting on a mushroom, smoking a hookah, she finds herself being told to “keep her temper.” She is puzzled by this advice. At the tea party, Alice meets the Mad Hatter, March Hare, and Dormouse. Alice is constantly frustrated with their manners. She leaves them trying to fit the Dormouse in a teapot. Yet her curiosity doesn’t stagger, and she travels through another door leading into the Queen’s garden. The Queen of Hearts is the furious queen of Wonderland. She insists that the gardeners paint her white roses red. Carroll once wrote, “I picture to myself the Queen of Hearts as a sort of embodiment of ungovernable passion – a blind and aimless fury.” Some suggest that Carroll’s stories reveal a social criticism on Victorian etiquette, but regardless of satirical or critical intent, he was one of the first children’s authors to avoid a moral overtone. Harry Marinsky carries out Lewis Carroll’s intent and brings Sir John Tenniel’s illustrations to life in his Alice in Wonderland sculpture series.