#mardigras is so magical… even in the freezing rain. (Not many pics because fingers were frozen and holding umbrellas all day, so sorry) but rest assured it happened. #YouCantCancelTheGras We costumed, paraded, fell down laughing, danced in the streets, ate, drank, stood on balconies and porches and on top of furniture, saw brass bands and old friends and made new ones. Somehow it might have been the best mardi gras yet.
This pretty much sums up the dichotomy of me. I’ve been in an existential mood for the past, I don’t know, 12 years? (Hence the Sartre above) And yet, when things seem meaningless enough is when my romanticism swings wide the doors, demands beauty, poetry and passion. I feel both jaded and gilded at the same time. I want to be your poetry. I want it to be okay to have empty spaces in my heart. I have secrets that I can’t tell you. I have nothing to hide.
Winter is my enemy. I cannot work. I sulk and hide in coffeeshops and get nothing done. I neglect my lover. I let it all build up. Alas, the first warm day arrives and I open the windows and wonder what the hell is wrong with me. I paint it out. I stop on the way to the mailbox and take a photograph. I feel defrosted from the inside out.
This new painting is online…
16” x 20”
click to view
As a visual person and creator, I can sometimes be oddly lazy about updating my laptop and iPhone backgrounds/wallpapers. But yesterday I fortunately discovered a good fit for inspiration. I recommend the beautiful background glow of gold and photo made by the talented Cocorrina. Get it here.
"I think my heart was a big block of ice, and now it feels like it’s starting to melt. I’m content being alone… and that’s always when someone shows up. I don’t want to meet a soulmate yet… my judgement can’t be trusted."
(This is a direct quote from the “wisdom texts” of my assistant Hannah. We are so often exchanging these nuggets of insight, over drinks, amid our reading, in spite of work, and because of it, despite our age difference, thanks to our kindredness, and instead of shaming… sharing. I couldn’t help but share this one here. Xo, Rebecca)
David Hockney adds to history’s finest definitions of art and echoes Tolstoy’s timeless assertion that "a real work of art destroys, in the consciousness of the receiver, the separation between himself and the artist."
(via Austin Kleon)
The story behind the Family Tree Paintings
I recently viewed some early documents housed at the U.S. Mint Collection in New Orleans. Picture a climate controlled room, white gloves and archival boxes holding stacks of records and ephemera. I found that much of the early evidence of our cultural existence comes in the form of property records and marriage and birth certificates. As interesting as that can be, I found myself wanting more than just handwriting and names. One document named a building which was a bakery, and I found myself wondering about that person, who must have loved to bake, whose family must have baked for generations, and I wondered if they went home in flour-covered clothes each day, leaving a trail down Esplanade Ave of powdery white.
I have thought a lot over the years, about why I make these Family Tree Paintings. Of course on the surface, it’s not hard to see. Someone commissions me to create an unconventional portrait of their family. Families have done this for generations, in the form of portraiture, and the traditional “family tree” documents we know. But it’s so much more than that to me.
To me, it is a cultural mapping project. A chance to see story through painted imagery. I hope that one day years from now, the paintings I have made will add to the human record of existence. They will represent a people and a place and time, and stand to tell the story long after those people are gone. That emotional archeology is what makes these paintings valuable.
Like the painfully beautiful and autobiographical work of Frida Kahlo, mixed with the existential approach to “the actual life of the individual, as a true essence, defined by values, and the freedom to determine meaning in your own life.” I relate much to Francis Bacon in the sense that I want to be a chronicler of the human condition. I believe that now, like never before, we are free to define our place and meaning in life, and the allegory of a family experience can be symbolized and portrayed in visual form. It is the magic of everyday life propelled by overarching values and underlying meaning, that make each family a unique part of humanity.
If you are interested in preserving the mythology of your family, and recording the intangible evidence of existence, then you most likely are a good candidate for a Family Tree Painting.
I say, don’t be just a summary of the transference of property and assets.
Let there be poetry in your family history. Give future generations the visual evidence for interpretation. Create a mythology - a combination of legacy and mystery. One that will unfold for generations.
Family Tree Painting customers become a part of my worldwide family. We enter a dance that never ends. – Rebecca Rebouche
Time to get excited for carnival season in New Orleans. Plan your trip. Make your costume. Tune up your bicycle. Get a king cake. It’s time y’all.
2013: what a year… Italian vogue, Food & Wine, Travel & Leisure, Cover of @anthologymag, a month in Italy, a sold-out dinnerware collection at @anthropologie, 62 new original paintings, 1 party in the woods, 1 Indian Princess Mardi Gras costume, countless motorcycle rides, a few beaches, parties and crawfish boils, a stellar boyfriend and a handful of amazing people. A few days late on the recap but I just finally caught up on sleep. 😊 xoxo, Rebecca