Round Thirteen: Kingdoms

Olga Noes vs. Zan Von Zed

Today we are getting a little mythical and mysterious, as we venture into the land of Princes and Princesses. Well, maybe it’s not that exciting. But, nonetheless, todays This vs. That looks at two images that are a bit fantastical. They are quite different in style, but I see strong parallels between the subject matter, and how the women are integrated into their surroundings.


What I like about the first image (Noes):

I love Olga Noes. She constantly produces great work and continues to surprise me. This piece is a little different to most of her work (I believe it was commissioned, or done for a certain purpose/event) but still has its Olga touches. It is a little cleaner, and a little more vibrant and bold, which works well with the subject matter. The title of this piece is ‘In the Candy Clouds of the Sticker Kingdom’ (I know, super long!) which confirms the kingdom nature of the piece, and also explains the slightly psychedelic aspects. It’s a little trippy some might argue. But what do you expect in the Sticker Kingdom? Of course it’s going to be wild, overly bright and exaggerated. (That’s what we love about stickers). Aside from the awesome subject matter, what I like about this piece is the way our lady in so a part of her world. She pops out of the clouds showing her body is emerged in her environment (air in this instance). She is connected with the animals (lets assume indigenous to Sticker Kingdom), one sits in front of her, while the other playfully adorns her hair. The woman seems to take on an animalistic nature herself, very cat-like as she waits, poised, ready to pounce. Also in her hair is what I am saying is her crown. It’s a big fun spiral (lollypop?) with a pointy crown thingy on the top. Yet it is so well-integrated into her that it doesn’t immediately seem like a crown. The crown connects to the background of the image, both with the rainbows and the stars in the sky (it almost looks like a star is hiding being the spiral lollypop). I love the colours, the integration of background elements into the foreground, and also how the woman seems to take on the essence of a tiger, perhaps even mummy tiger to her little cub that playfully sits in front of her. Overall, a super fun piece that is executed in Olgas wonderful style, as well as being very tight in its subject matter. Nothing is unnecessary. Which is pretty good considering it is such a busy piece. Love!


What I like about the second image (Von Zed):

This piece by Zan Von Zed is titled ‘Frog Prince’ and is obviously based off this story. Unfortunately I can’t remember anything about the Frog Prince. But I am assuming that guy turns into frog, or frog turns into guy (prince, even) when he meets some hot lady who gives him a kiss. Kissing frogs before finding your prince. Sounds about right. While I could do some internet research, I would rather just talk about the piece, so excuse my ignorance (if any). I like this piece very much. Von Zed has a distinct style which is really awesome. All her figures have this square-ish face and features (so they pretty much all look like this lass). The consistency works well in her art. So, here we have our princess whom sits in a pool of water. Like Noes image, she is emerged in her environment from breasts down. But in this instance we know her environment (water, or swamp) is the environment of her frog/prince. Therefore, she is slightly more submissive to the nature – it is not hers to own, but hers to become a part of. She is not entirely one with it because her colouring removes her from it. For example, the frog and all other nature is green, while her hair is very much purple. She wears a crown and her frog sits on her head, also wearing a crown. Like our prior image, her head is adorned with both crown and animal. Dragonflies circle around her and almost give some illusion of being her minions. She is powerful, yet also submissive or a little bit mismatched. Does she want to leave? Or does she just want us to leave, to stop looking at her? The expression created is quite wonderful, and leaves you very enticed. Her hair sits above the water, making her have some supernatural or mythical essence. All the while, she (and her surroundings) are enclosed in a circular frame. This connects her to fairy tales, but also gives an immortalised energy to the piece. This moment is forever captured and held for us to marvel over, while she seems to keep living within. Really quite a wonderful piece when you start to explore it and look deeper than the basics. Another piece I’m in love with.


Both are fantasy wrapped up in beauty that make us think about the characters, who they are, what they have been through. I love this about both pieces. They really bring your imagination to life, and help you to conjure up fun fantasy scenarios (like I have been doing). Noes piece is a bit more adult in nature, whereas Von Zeds piece could easily grace any illustrated children’s fairytale book. I am probably the most stuck I have been yet! Both images are so good, but very different stylistically. They integrate each woman into her environment pretty much perfectly. I want to have a tie. Is that allowed? Yes, I run this show, so I say a tie is allowed. Well done to both artists for such beautiful, captivating pieces that remind us of childhood wonderment. Such fun.

Do you agree? Am I too weak to have not made a choice? Let me know which piece you would crown winner (if you can decide!)

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