Unlike traditional fairy tales, Anderson’s stories were allegories based on real people and personal experiences. This portrait series based in the stories of Hans Christian Anderson, who as well as modernized the fairy tale genre, was an accomplished practitioner of illustrational paper cutting. Using his favored visual medium I have taken his iconic characters and given them specific identities. Originally known as shadow art, a cut-paper silhouette is a tracing of the sitter. However, the contour of this particular mermaid upends the universality of the fairy tale character by putting an individual face on her; that The Little Mermaid, The Little Match Girl and Karen appear to be the same person brings into question whether the subjects are representational or real.