Rachael Wise takes classic fairy tales such as Rapunzel, Peter Pan or Alice's Adventures in Wonderland to a dark, dark (or as she likes to call it - f****d up) place. In this instance, the tales are treated through a contemporary point of view, which doesn't necessarily add realism, but rather gives off a note of relatability. It's the things such as anorexia, plastic surgery and gold digging that really tie these tales in with the obsessions of today's society.
This is, however, not the first time fairy tales are taken to a darker place; in cinema there's a somewhat constant attraction towards a more "gothic" envisioning of these stories. A couple that immediately come to mind are "Snow White: A Tale of Terror" or "The Company of Wolves".
Also, it's worth mentioning that the tales you've read are worlds apart from their original form. When they first came out, fairy tales were pretty much told to scare the children into being obedient. Here are a few WTF versions:
- The Little Red Riding Hood: in the original story, there is no grandma or huntsman. Instead, Red is just given the wrong directions by the wolf, and ends up being eaten. The moral of the story: never trust strangers.
- The Little Mermaid: the very first version by Hans Christian Andersen has the mermaid witness the prince marry another girl. She is given a knife to kill the prince, but instead she jumps into the sea and dies by turning into froth.
- Goldilocks and the Three Bears: in the original story, after eating the bears' food, sitting in their chairs and finally falling asleep in their beds, Goldilocks wakes up when the three bears return home, only to be ripped to shreds. In a later version, she actually jumps out the window, but breaks her neck in the fall.
Fun, right? Now that we got that little bit of trivia out of the way, here are more of Rachael's illustrations: