This time we travel to the world of newspapers illustration. This post is about an image from the Spanish illustrator Fernando de Vicente for El País diary, in September 6th 2009 close to the article “Lisbeth Salander must live” by Mario Vargas Llosa.
The article talks about exalting one of the main characters of the Swedish literary trilogy “Millennium” from Stieg Larsson. I must admit I haven´t read the trilogy, I have only watched the first film of the trilogy: “The men that didn´t love the women”, the best of the three films of the series. I think this is enough to know who is Lisbeth Salander and what about her look, just the message that Fernando de Vicente wants to transmit in this illustration.
Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist are the two heroes of the saga, and contrary to the tradition, Lisbeth has the strength role while Mikael is the weak, a female with male attributes, a mulier fortis. In the film we can see how she is raped in first instance but has the strength and power to punish her rapist by tattooing an offensive message in his skin. Later she always fights and plays the active role.
Her profession: to be a hacker, her duty: to help to reveal a mystery. Everything under a look that is a mix of goth and punk style. I must say that in this point I feel close to Lisbeth cause I was a goth for a long time and I liked computers. It´s just this point that should be watched in this illustration.
I think Fernando de Vicente offers a light look of the brave Lisbeth Salander, maybe due to the image appeared in a big newspaper. Her aggressive connotations appear mellowed, there is no mohawk haircut nor tack necklace, Lisbeth looks a beautyful goth girl (black lips and eyelines) with only a piercing and a big tattoo of a dragon in her back that seems to mean her strength. These two elements refer to the practice of “modern primitivism”, one of the aspects of the goth culture. This look is quite different to the actress Noomi Rapace, protagonist of the European series, but is maybe closer to the look of Nathalie Portman who possibly will be the main character in the American series (we must think about her appearance in “V for Vendetta”).
Anyway, the work of Fernando de Vicente is quite excellent, as all his Art. He is mainly illustrator for newspapers, magazines, music covers, but he is also a painter. You must find many of his works at: