Holly Morningstar

Before the 50 Shades of Gray series gained popularity, my “No Evil” series of colored pencil paintings was often viewed as highly offensive and immoral in the state of Alabama (the response at various artist alleys in the US, however, was much more accepting).

Oddly enough, the more “mainstream” the fetish elements became, the more palatable the artwork…and the more open people were to talking about how they found those elements sexy.  The first time someone came up to me and called my series the “50 Shades” series, I was really taken off guard. They were enjoying my work, but I was mildly disappointed they still took it at face value. All they were seeing were the sexy elements…which were all of a sudden okay to see.

While I sometimes incorporate fetish-related elements into my work, the message behind these paintings (and all of my work) can be read so many different ways. The most important message for me has always been about freedom, which is a topic I put into a lot of my pieces. There is freedom to be found in surrender. Sometimes, the things we carry are too heavy. What happens when we just let go and hand our burdens over?

The result can be something beautiful, but you have to be willing to let yourself experience the beauty.

It’s all about love, you guys :)