Introverted artist Paige Carr, also known as Madame Grotesque, offers viewers insight into a world of repressed emotions with a host of tragically cute, blood-spattered and rainbow colored creatures.
Although 20 year-old Carr hails from Essex, England, her major artistic influences rule American “goth” culture. She described Tim Burton's art as her primary influence in an e-mail interview. “I've always been fascinated by his work ever since I was very young, maybe 2-3 years old,” she said. “Like him, I had quite an isolated childhood but instead of watching horrors I would watch his films.” Generally Carr's illustrations are accompanied by a short poem in the style of Burton's book “Oyster Boy.”
Carr also listed the art of the notorious Marylin Manson as well as Alex Pardee as influences. Pardee is freelance artist perhaps most well known for creating album art for bands such as “The Used” and “In Flames,” but has also released nine comic books. She found the work of these men appealing, “mainly because of the vibrant colours and generally bizarre subjects.”
Certainly Carr's own choice of subjects can be described as atypical. Her creations include “Terror Cupcakes,” “Horror Hello Kitty,” “Creepy Children,” and a variety of monsters. “I prefer to use watercolors and ink pens,” she said when asked her favorite medium. “ There's great flexibility and they give the effect that I want … I'm very particular with my line work.”
At a young age, Carr turned to art as means of expressing her emotions and connecting to the world around her. “Words don't seem to come naturally to me regarding emotions...Visuals are much stronger,” she said. “Emotions are my favorite thing to paint...Despite having a great deal of loneliness and misunderstanding throughout my life, when people recognize and appreciate those emotions in my work it makes me realize that I'm not alone.”
In addition to making available nearly 70 unique prints featuring original characters, she has also created a line of tote bags which can be purchased for a modest price from the shop on her official website. Carr's plans for the near future include raising money to expand her product line into jewelry, plushies, and t-shirts. She also hopes to publish a poetry picture book.