Paul Klee was a Swiss/ German Artist who was known for creating a large body of work influenced by ideas of cubism, surrealism and expressionism , in 1933 he fled Germany because his work was deemed indecent. One of the things he created has peaked my interest, well a collection of things really. He created around 50 hand puppets for his son Felix whose heads were made from household found objects like bristle brushes, bits of fur and beef bones, whereas in the beginning the first costumes were made by Sasha Morgenthaler ( who went on to become a well known puppet maker) but Klee took over this part himself soon enough. His puppets are surreal and quite threatening looking in some cases, and in others they look very humorous, i dont think as a child i would have liked to play with them 😛 The first 8 puppets were modelled on Germanys answer to “Punch and Judy” but Felix enjoyed playing with them so much that Paul continued to make them, and they slowly became more influenced by Dadaism and included cartoon-y political figures and even a self portrait! I have been thinking about ways of creating characters for my sets/ scenes and i am dabbling with the idea of all aspects being 3D and surreal puppets could be an interesting take, although i think the ones created by Klee possess too dark an image and impression for my target audience of children, and specifically girls aged 5-9 and their parents for the Alice in Wonderland Brief. But his puppets are wonderful and inventive and really interesting to observe, its quite fun to imagine their characters and study their expressions and they are made in very innovative ways using such obscure found objects. below are some of his puppets that i have seen in my research and they are quite wondrous & weird!
i like this one, he looks like the Yeti from the surreal/ obscure television show “The mighty boosh!” and looks more friendly than the others 🙂