Dancing lobsters, smoking caterpillars, crazy tea parties, and roses dripping paint… Emmanuel Paletz brings Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to life with The Alice App.
The Alice App isn’t actually an app–it’s a digital book with interactive and animated illustrations, puzzles, and games. Emmanuel Paletz, digital advertising consultant and co-creator of the cookbook Art and Cook, came up with the idea for The Alice App because he wanted to find a way to fuse his love for art and his digital design skills. “I have a passion for art. I breathe art. I came up with the idea for a digital interactive book because I’m a designer, not an illustrator, and I wanted to create the most beautiful illustrations possible.”
For Paletz, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was a natural choice for the app. “I’ve always loved Alice,” he says. “It’s so political. It has so many different layers of meaning, and there’s no one out there who isn’t quoting it. And it’s filled with artistic inspiration–you don’t need any more inspiration than that.” Paletz also has a penchant for Lewis Carroll, and in researching the author he discovered that Carroll loved Dutch and Flemish Renaissance art. “I decided to use this kind of artwork in my illustrations as a way to kind of connect with Carroll’s spirit, since he appreciated this art so much.”
Paletz uses a collage technique to create the illustrations, piecing together portions of different Dutch and Flemish Renaissance paintings to create breathtaking, interactive illustrations. “Because I’m using masterpieces that have already survived for 500 years, it is both mine and not mine. Collage is an art form that many artists use–including Picasso–but I wanted to create a type of art that makes these masterpieces accessible through a story.”
Together, Lewis Carroll’s marvelously absurd tale and Paletz’s crazy illustrations succeed in telling a story for both children and adults. “Since Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is a children’s story, I decided that this app could be a way for them to enjoy the story while simultaneously being exposed to art,” he explains. “Perhaps some children will discover Buregel, for example, and then ask their parents to take them to a museum to see more.” As for the adults, the app will appeal to art-lovers and intellectuals alike. “The book has many, many different layers of meaning,” the artist says, “and each of these paintings has its own meaning as well. I combine the significance and symbols of the paintings with the text in order to give new meaning to the book.”
The Alice App is currently available for the iPad ($4.99) and Android tablets ($1.99), and it will be available soon on iPhones and Android smartphones.