Zombie Bettie Page

Shannon B Warren

AHHH! Zombie Bettie? Don''t we know Halloween is over? Is this some exploitative image meant to shock or upset?

Actually, it''s a homework assignment, of sorts. The artist, Shannon Warren, is a student at The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and completed the work according to a specific criteria...

Basically the assignment was to use a famous icon of your choosing, create at least a 2 layer stencil of their face, and use it in a way that would in some way coerce an emotion from the viewer. Whether it was humor, empathy, challenging, etc. With my piece I really wanted to push the limits of "ideal beauty" and see how far you can take someone so beautiful away from the normal social views of beauty with out altering their actual self. So in a way I suppose it''s meant to be disturbing, but the work is definitely not intended to offend Bettie Page fans. If I didn''t absolutely adore her and everything she stood for, I would not have done a piece on her at all.

I chose to do my work on Bettie because to me she IS the ultimate woman. I know historically she wasn''t the first pinup, but I feel like she really opened up the door for a more diverse culture to take the spotlight, especially in pin up artwork. And in my opinion she commercialized people''s hidden "taboo" fantasies, which also paved the way for a totally different outlook on sexuality in society. To me, its as though most pinups before Bettie just kind of allowed themselves to be pinups rather than owning it. Bettie Page was an example of society accepting the "perverse" nature of itself, and validating it.

And I chose to portray her in the gory way I did because I feel like zombie pinups are the next wave in delving deeper into different areas of the darker corners of society. Its becoming much more acceptable to be interested in what you personally find interesting. I personally love gore and zombies, but I also love the female form. Because of people like Bettie Page, what I like to make art about is far more acceptable and less likely to be seen as perversion.

If you have an interest in the work, the original painting is for sale. Feel free to EMAIL the artist, directly.