Features

Deep Roots

By December 10, 2019 March 4th, 2020 No Comments

By Sherry Griggs
Photos courtesy of Rebecca Rebouché

Oh, how we love Instagram. It allows us to go a step further toward getting to know artists, makers and craftsmen whom we otherwise might miss. We often get to see a glimpse into their creative process and how their thoughts flow. Recently, we’ve been following an artist who has an outright mystical talent for turning dreams and ideas into visual reality. Follow us @817home to see what else we find intriguing.

Rebecca Rebouché is a New Orleans-based naturalist painter who creates works that are at once mythical and real — her own special take on magical realism. Her pieces possess a dreamlike quality that have the ability to shift your perspective; all the viewer has to do is be willing to see it. As described by Rebouché, she doesn’t paint what she sees, she paints what she feels, transforming the intangible into the tangible, thoughts into reality. She uses the natural world as a backdrop for the transcendence that she feels. And as her ideas, thoughts and dreams take on visual form, they flow onto the canvas.

Rebouché’s work has been widely seen through her collaboration with Anthropologie, where her designs have been transferred onto dishware, curtains and wallpaper, and sold as art prints.

But of all her works, her highly sought-after “Family Tree” commissions have become our obsession. Months before the painting process begins, the artist meets with the family — wherever in the world they are. She spends several hours getting to know them, most often in their homes, using a notebook and camera to record multigenerational stories, traditions and shared observations on daily life. She returns to her studio, and as the muse moves her, interprets what she has learned to create a piece that tells one family’s truth. Symbols, totems and allegorical expression represent lifetimes of experience in a poetic way. The result is a family treasure, an enchanting, metaphorical heirloom.

The entire process takes about a year. If you’re interested, get in line. There’s a long waiting list for the commissions, and the artist moves at her own pace. To sign up, head to her website. Family Tree prices vary, but as with any bespoke, luxury commission, it’s an investment. That said, how often does fine art intersect with family history?

THE DETAILS

Rebecca Rebouché Follow the artist @rebeccarebouche on Instagram. Her current body  of work also can be seen @exoticmemory. Smaller works and collections, updated seasonally, can be purchased from the artist’s website. Her studio in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans is open by appointment only; visit the website for contact information. 4999 Burgundy St., New Orleans, rebeccarebouche.com.