Alice and the Queen of Hearts in San Francisco

In 2015 I started a new body of work called “Alice", in which I overlap the story of Alice in wonderland with the History of San Francisco and Paris to represent the schizophrenic state of these ever changing cities. Each painting of this series tells a piece of the story about our everyday lives.  In a sense Alice is you, me, anyone who lives or work in the Bay Area, Paris or any large metropolis and has to adapt or face its challenges. I work in layers and use recycled and found materials like plastics, papers, metals. Waste that would take years to break down and disappear in a landfill.  I either print with this different materials or leave them in the work. The technical process applied to this series is inspired by the presence of the water surrounding the peninsula and the issues raised by the pollution produced by the city. Painting Alice, a very recognisable character, is for me, a way to talk about all kind of subject matters, like being a working mom, an artists in the silicon valley, a homeowner in a real estate bubble and to keep it consistent. It also allows me to connect with the viewers’ childhood memories and make my narrative more personal. I absolutely love it when someone tells me there's something about my painting that he feels like he can identify with.

Click on the image to enlarge the painting.

 

"The length of my bathing suit"

Acrylic on Canvas 60" x48"

"The length of my bathing suit" was inspired by a photograph from 1925 "Smokey" Buchanan from the West Palm Beach police force, measuring the bathing suit of Betty Fringle on Palm Beach, to ensure that it conforms with regulations introduced by the beach censors.

Next to it are Beach girls on stilts inspired by a 1950 photograph. The girls are athletic and wearing form fitting colorful bathing suits, like lollipops, eye candies on a stick. This painting is about women's rights. The right to wear what we want, when we want it.  Woman's fashion always reflects the world we live in. Women have always been told what to wear, and how to wear it. Conservative or Liberal. An ongoing battle.

This painting is also inspired by "Le déjeuner sur l'herbe" of Édouard Manet created in 1862 and 1863 . The artist in this painting doesn't depict a nude but a naked figure contrasting with the male figures fully clothed in their modern parisian men's suit. Once again the woman's body is the center of the outrage.

 

 

“alice and the orchid extraordinaire”

acrylic on canvas 36”x36”

The name orchid is derived from the Greek word “orkhis”. This exotic flower was named by an ancient Greek botanist named Theophrastos who thought that the fleshy underground tubers resembled the male anatomy. In this painting, Alice is stopped in her tracks by a gigantic orchid.

 

"Octopussy"

Acrylic and oil on canvas, 36"x36" 

My queen of hearts are represented with an anatomically correct heart instead of a simplified symbol... The victorian era was fascinated by the human heart, through poetry but also science with the invention of the stethoscope. In our modern society, ruled by science and computers it feels necessary to go back to the heart as a symbol of  the central wisdom of feeling as opposed to the head-wisdom of reason.

 

"David Against Goliath"

Acrylic on Canvas, 36"x48"  

Finding balance between art and new technology in the city by the Bay is a difficult task. The money made by the artists and crafters  doesn't match the one made by the new Silicon Valley's adventurers. Slowly but surely the San Francisco art scene withers. 

 

"Atomic Suburbia"

Acrylic on canvas 20"x16"

Vacuuming artificial grass with an atomic mushroom in the background. This image is about 3 different subject matters: women's status in the modern world, the drought side effect of artificial turf in the Californian suburbs and the nuclear situation in the world.

Inspired by Nevada's Survival Town, May 5th, 1955 where the US government detonated a 29 kiloton atomic bomb part of the innocuously-named Operation Teapot, which involved a series of 14 blasts in the Nevada desert over a three-month period. It was designed to test structures made of various materials and placed varying distances away , they even had canned and frozen food to stock the pantries and freezers-- to see if anything would be safe to eat post-nuclear attack.

 

"Alice and The Bubble"

Acrylic on Canvas 36"x36"  

This painting is a reflection on the crazy real estate market we have in San Francisco, and how hard it is to find the perfect house for our loved ones. Like in the Story "Alice in Wonderland", Alice grew too big into the beautiful victorian house. But honestly, with the market being what it is nowadays, if there was a giant in the house you want to buy, you would still buy it and deal with the giant later. She could even become your new french au pair.

 

 

"Real Estate Rabbit Hole"

Acrylic on Canvas, 36"x36" 

 In the city's maze,  Ariadne's golden thread will prevent you from losing your mind while looking for a place to live with your loved ones.

 

"Multitasking"

Acrylic on Canvas. 36"x36" 

Busy lives are the trend in our modern world. As a mom multitasking is a requirement. Family, work, social life, housekeeping and shopping will make the days feel like they're always too short.

 

"Alice Flying"

Acrylic on Canvas, 24"x36"

Inspired by the news and my fear of flying. Traveling is amazing, it's just too bad the airline companies make you feel like merchandise instead of human beings. 

 

"Make a choice"

Acrylic on Canvas 16"x20" 

Alice is falling down the rabbit hole the same way we sometimes feel when we lose control of our life . This painting is about the decisions we have to make in our everyday life. We don't have a choice, we have to make a choice even if we're never sure which way it will lead us. In this image, Alice is falling into the San Francisco Bay. A shark is waiting for her. She can either choose to eat the cookie or to drink the potion. She will either get bigger than the shark and it won't be able to hurt her, or so small that it will no longer care anymore, but then what will happen next?

 

"Bliss"

Acrylic on Canvas 22"x22" 

In the crazy world we live in, finding a moment for yourself, to relax, recharge and recenter is  a must. What could be better that floating on the bay's water with your favorite animal... Carpe Diem ! 

 

"Knowledge"

Acrylic on Canvas, 24"x24" 

In today's world, young girls don't always have access to school. They are denied the right to dream of a better future for themselves. The turtle is a symbol of knowledge, protection and support.

 

"Immigration in San Francisco"

Acrylic on Canvas 36"x36" 

San Francisco Financial District was built on top of buried ships from the gold rush. Today’s Immigration is tomorrow’s wealth.

 

"Encounter"

Acrylic on Canvas 36"x36"

This is an encounter. Inspired by Jules Verne book “20,000 leagues under the sea” this painting is about fluidity and motion, colors and pattern. The octopus is meeting the Nautilus like in Verne’s story, but in this image both of them should be okay. Like in life, it’s not always a catastrophe, just a little scare.

 

"Alice protecting the Eiffel Tower"

Acrylic on Canvas. 16"x20" 

I often work with live models, they help me find the inspiration. In this painting, Alice is admiring a miniature sculpture of the famous Eiffel tower. With todays' headlines and the fight against terrorism, this little painting takes on another dimension and a deeper meaning. 

 

"Frida Reina De Corazones"

Acrylic on Canvas 12"x18"

In my series of Queen of Hearts Frida Kahlo is a beautiful inspiration.

 

"Breakfast"

Acrylic on Canvas 12"x12"

We live near the ocean and we always forget about it. For this image, my husband was my model, I made him a fish mask out of paint and paper and when he came back from work one evening I did a photoshoot with him and a bunch of lemons. My friend Debbie gave me one of her lemon beast that grown in her yard. The perfect diner for a trout-man. If Life gives you lemons, eat them for breakfast or make a painting on the subject.

 

"Alice and the Key to San Francisco"

Acrylic on Canvas, 16"x20" 

This painting showing Alice with the key to open the door to San Francisco is the beginning of her adventures. Because she's entering a world surrounded by water she has a nautilus on her head. This cephalopod on her head is also a symbol of the schizophrenic lives we have in a big metropolis, always late or in a rush, stuck in traffic to go to work or to buy Christmas gifts. All the things we do, and even if we always try to do or best, they keep piling up like we're doing the 12 labors of Hercules in one day. FYI at the end of the day, when you have a splitting headache, you look like that on the outside.

 

"Alice and the key"

Acrylic on Canvas 18"x24" 

Is another version in a different size, of Alice going into the city of San Francisco. Going through the door is only the beginning of the adventures. This is the time when you can still retrace your steps and go home. But once you decide to keep going forward, everything becomes possible.

 
Fleur. Women who read are dangerous.jpg

“Women who read are dangerous“

Acrylic on canvas 36'“x36”

Women who read were once seen as idle, suspect or radical, but it’s through education that girls can become strong independent women.

 

"We're all Alice"

Series of small portraits 6"x6" each, oil on mixed media