Finally, the piece I just finished for Gauntlet Gallery’s Visions & Reflections show! The opening was a resounding success, it will be hanging until early May. I’d never painted on a wood panel like this before so it was an adventure! Here’s a little photo diary I kept of of my process…
This piece is available for purchase online for a limited time through Gauntlet Gallery
Well then, 2013. You’re going to be an interesting year, aren’t you? A veritable rollercoaster of awesome vs. nausea-inducing panic. But I suppose you couldn’t make it too easy for us. Otherwise, what would we have to work for? Even if it’s not always comfortable, I suppose the best place to be is a work in progress.
I have many works in progress these days. As of last month I was officially offered a generous scholarship to finish my BFA in Illustration at California College of the Arts (CCA) here in San Francisco. If all goes according to plan I should be starting up this coming September. I couldn’t be more ecstatic and terrified at the prospect. So many things to look forward to, and so many logistics and life changing decisions to suss out. But overall I’m super excited to have a trajectory I feel so strongly about. I hope that through their guidance I can finally find a path that will allow my artistic aspirations to benefit the community. Ultimately, I want to help create environments that inspire, encourage, and nurture the creative impulse in others and I think CCA is a good place to start.
As for literal works in progress, I’ve been chipping away at a new piece for an upcoming show at Gauntlet Gallery April 13th on the theme Visions and Reflections. It’s been a challenge as we were all given the same 12 x 12″ piece of wood to work on and I’ve been trying to step out of my comfort zone and do something a little different. The piece is inspired by an old Chinese myth about the Fauna of Mirrors. The myth suggests that mirrors were thought to hold an alternate universe full of creatures that were nothing like the ones which inhabit earth. No color, shape, nor size is the same. The creatures of the fauna were free to pass through the mirror into earth and the same for the earth’s inhabitants. Any creature could pass through a mirror portal at any given time.
Many of the fauna creatures had invaded earth and began to cause mischief and destruction in our world. So the mighty Emperor Huang Di created a magical trap for the creatures and cast a powerful spell over all the populations of the fauna that had been on earth causing trouble. The spell was so powerful that banished all the fauna creatures to their alternate universe for the rest of their days. However, although powerful the Emperor’s spell was not permanent. It is said that one day the magic will wear off and ominous things will begin to happen: a line of a color never before seen will appear in the mirror, unearthly creatures will begin to stir, the clatter of weapons will be heard. The first creature to regain its power will either be the Fish of the Mirror or the Tiger of the Mirror. The legend ominously adds that in the second conflict the mirror people will be aided by water creatures, and the alliance will this time triumph over our world.
Still a whole lot of work to do, I’ve almost finished the penciling but I’m feeling really happy with how it’s been coming along so far.
More updates to come as I job hunt! That’s right, I’m on the hunt for part-time work where I can utilize all my bad ass skills to better someone else’s life while bettering my own! I’ll be in school over the next couple years, so stable but flexible work will be key. Have opportunities you want to run by me? Hit me up at rococonouveau[at]gmail[dot]com
In the meantime, here’s a slice of my life in pictures…
Starting off the new year right with an art murmur gallery opening at MOCO in Oakland, accompanied by the musical stylings of This Can’t End Well. This Friday January 4th, c’mon down!
Just a quick update with a peek at my latest project completed for Lane Online Solutions! Design and development by yours truly.
Hello dear friends! So I may have an opportunity for some table space at the Alternative Press Expo in 2 weeks. Which, as it turns out, is no cheap venture! My plan is to have a bunch of prints of my artwork for sale, and probably some collarettes too. It could be a really great opportunity.. But! I need to raise some funds to make all this possible. I currently have these three framed originals still available for purchase for $450 a piece. If anyone has been thinking about making one of my pieces yours, now would be the perfect time! If you’re interested shoot me a facebook message, or email at rococonouveau[at]gmail.com ♥ Pass it on!!
I’ll also take this opportunity to update you with the latest of rococonouveau’s Adventures in Web Design! My most recent development project was for Faultline Studios, a super awesome local recording studio space. I highly recommend you look them up if you’re in the market for some studio time! They’ve worked with some awesome bands, the space is gorgeous, and the people sweet as pie. Plus… Awesome website!
I’ve FINALLY acquired the domain of my dreams! Coming soon, the new and improved www.rococonouveau.com
Prints of my work are now available for purchase through Society6! Society6 is an awesome web shop which makes prints to order and ships them to you on my behalf.
There are a variety of sizes available, each printed on natural white, matte, ultra smooth, 100% cotton rag, acid and lignin free archival paper using an advanced digital dry ink method to ensure vibrant image quality. Custom trimmed with 1″ border for framing.
The even better news is, for a limited time Society6 is letting me offer you FREE shipping on all the prints in my shop! Promotion expires August 12, 2012 at midnight Pacific Time. *Offer excludes Framed Art Prints and Stretched Canvases. Use this link to receive your discount http://society6.com/rococonouveau?promo=0f10e4
Pass it on!
What do these seemingly disparate topics have in common? The short answer: Me! It’s been a busy summer over here at rococonouveau and I thought it was due time for an update on some of my toilings. Last night was the opening for CELLspace’s first Thursday gallery event called Spacecraft. I was selected to show a few pieces for their August theme: Science & Fiction. “These two disparate forces, science & fiction, have taken shape in our careers and daily choices, offer us focus, creativity, inspiration, escape…” The show will be up in the CELLspace gallery until September, I’ll be available to schedule viewings if there are any requests!
For this show I debuted a new lady, her name is Martha.
After talking a bit about my process to some people at the show last night, there were some requests for better documentation on the stories and thoughts behind each piece. So, here goes! My main inspirations to make these pieces are mostly ghost stories, decorative arts, decadent arts, and early 20th century female rebellion. Many of these pieces reference vintage photographs taken of 1920′s chorus girls. It’s my attempt to keep their sassy spirits and the essences of my favorite bygone art styles alive via what I’m calling “painted transmutation”. Each piece tells the story of an individual, some truth and some fabricated, but when dealing with ghosts doesn’t the legend truly make them real?
Part of my process is selecting a photo of a mystery person that I find inspiring in some intangible way. So far most of them have been by a well-known photographer of Ziegfeld Follies named Alfred Cheney Johnston. When I’ve come up with a concept for the piece I dive in with the painting and illustrating. Then once it’s complete I pull up the photograph again and start researching who the person in the photo really was. In this case it turned out to be a former Ziegfeld girl and film actress Martha Mansfield. Martha’s rise to fame came quickly, from the start of her stage career at age 18 to the tragic end of her life at age 24 she had already moved on from the Follies and acted in 24 films. On the set for her last movie, someone had tossed a match as she climbed into her car at the end of the day. As soon as she closed the door the match which had caught fire to the petticoats of her elaborate civil war era costume burst into flames. Only her neck and face were saved from burning when leading man Wilfred Lytell threw his heavy overcoat over her. However, she still died from severe burns within 24 hours.
I love asking people I’ve just met what they think a “ghost” really is, everyone seems to have their own theories or preconceptions. Some say ghosts only come from tragic events, some say they are energy attached to the earth because they can’t let go. Then there are some with more elaborate theories on parallel dimensions or quantum realities. The point is, there’s really no final answer to this question. But I find it to be a endlessly interesting question to propose. In my work I present the supposition that we are the ones that make ghosts real. Perhaps just keeping the idea of a person or event or energy alive is how they haunt us. Like the saying that a person is really only dead the last time someone speaks their name. Supposing this is true, can’t we can create our own ghosts? More thoughts on this to come.
On a lighter note! A couple years ago I was granted the opportunity to draw a paper doll of one of my favorite comedians, Neil Hamburger, for a comic book he was publishing. The book was finally released at Comic-Con this July! They sent me a few copies in the mail along with a poster for their Comic-Con appearance with Tim Heidecker. Plus I’ve been invited to make him more outfits for the next book, squeee!
Coming soon: new web designs, photography, and my album art for Crashfaster and their kick ass kickstarter!
IT’S ALIIIIVE! At long last my latest labor of love for Destroy All Comics is live. Destroy All Comics is “a website featuring comics by Jeremy W. Kaufmann, with art by various rad humans.” They will be continuously uploading new pages of each book to the homepage, so if you’d like a good read visit them often for the continuation of the saga of their latest masterpiece “Golden Gate Riot.” If you’re interested in comics the ever witty Jeremy W. Kaufmann will also be using this as a comics blog.