Thursday, February 28, 2013

Rousseau in the Natural World

Would you believe that these photographs were taken in Las Vegas? Yes, Las Vegas. It's true. Any tourist visiting Las Vegas must see one of the most extravagant and over the top hotels that houses a constantly rotating, gorgeously designed garden. It's inside the Bellagio Hotel. I know what you're thinking. "Rousseau and Las Vegas? That's crazy!" Under normal circumstances, I would think the same thing, but, look how beautiful it is here. The garden is lush and green and tropical. It completely evokes the exoticism of Rousseau's paintings. It's easy to picture monkey's frolicking in the trees and among the flowers. It's Rousseau all the way!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Objects from Rousseau's Tropical Imagination

Each of these Rousseau-inspired objects have been photographed with a printing of a fish that my boys Gio and Eamon did. It's a Japanese art form called Gyotaku. The images and colors remind me of Rousseau and they make the perfect background for the objects I've chosen.

The flounder above is pictured with a journal my sister Teresa gave me. 

A bass with a turtle pendant I bought at Anthropologie

A piranha with an ikat scarf I bought in Khotan, China

An angel fish with a wooden decorative object I bought in Kashgar, China.

Another piranha with a bowl of marbles.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Dressing in Rousseau's Tropical Imagination

Inspired by Rousseau

FAIR+true peplum top, $115 / Paul & Joe / Bottega Veneta tote / Lulu Frost bangle bracelet / Lace jewelry / Banana Republic fedora hat / Guerlain BALENCIAGA L'Essence / Color Club Fiesta Collection

This is what I imagine wearing while living in a Rousseau painting. There must be color, especially green, accents of warm colors, a hat for the sun, and sandals to keep cool. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Henri Rousseau and his Tropical Imagination

I've always loved Henri Rousseau. When I saw this work for this first time in real life, I loved it even more. The canvas is so verdant and luscious. I felt like I could smell the rich soil and feel the humidity in the air. What makes him more incredible is that he created these sumptuous tropical environments and yet never left France. He had a truly great imagination.

This particular painting, Tropical Forest with Monkeys, is a favorite. The scale is so confusing and the composition is a bit off (all those large scale red leaves in the foreground!) and yet it works so beautifully. I don't even like monkeys (they scare me!) and yet I still love the strong atmosphere of this painting. I would love to smell those flowers, drink the cool water, and wave Hello to the monkeys.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Interpretations of The Rose

Socotra Flower, copyright Nina Leung, 2013

I tried to mimic the atmosphere of The Rose in these paintings and drawings. They are inspired by Jay DeFeo's remarkable painting and the other images and subjects I've explored this week. The drawing above is all about Socotra Island. I imagine the plants needing to change and evolve in unusual ways in order to survive. 

See if you can figure out what images or feelings inspired which paintings/ drawings.

Radiations, copyright Nina Leung, 2013

Segmented Sections, Copyright Nina Leung, 2013

Striated Home, Copyright Nina Leung, 2013

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Objects Inspired by The Rose

A piece of obsidian a student gave me, plaster gauze, a rose shaped pine cone my son Gio found, leather strings I bought in Gallup, New Mexico, a brass topped glass oil burner, a fossil my Grandmother gave me, quartz crystal earrings, all on top of a bamboo brush holder. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Dressing in The Rose

Dressing in Jay DeFeo's The Rose

Alexander McQueen embroidered shirt / Saloni short shorts / Reed Krakoff peep toe booties / Alexander McQueen handbag / Adami & Martucci sterling silver bangle bracelet / J.Crew j crew / Burberry fragrance / Essie gold nailpolish

If the painting The Rose were to dress up for a night out, this is what she would wear. Lots of white, of course, with some strong, bold metallic accessories to make sure she's taken seriously.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Rose

Jay DeFeo's incredible painting, The Rose is one of my favorites. It's a painting and a sculpture. The paint is so thick, she carved and cut into it. It went through many changes and evolved from a flat plane to the sculptural landscape it is now.

She spent 8 years working on it; allowing it to go through its own evolution. Apparently, she had a T.V and a radio on while she was painting in order to ingest information so she could translate it into the painting. I love that idea of having to input in order to output.