The photo on the left of artist Nicole Charbonnet’s studio in New Orleans provides a better feel of her work, to me, than perhaps will the images you see below. Her art is at once rustic and clean much like her studio (in all cases seeing the real thing is better than a photograph of it – her work is particularly nuanced and therefore it’s hard to see details – getting a feeling may be more important – can you get a feeling from a blog?).
At any rate, the paintings have a very textural look to them; layers upon layers of paint, paper, fabric or images and words sketched by the artist’s hand united by a translucent milky finish. This is a real mark of her work, and I find it very appealing.
Ms. Charbonnet’s recent subject matter explores cultural stereotypes of America: the cowboy, the gangster, the desert highway, industry. The artist uses art to make metaphors regarding our past, as a way of investigating who we are as individuals and as a culture, and how we perceive and present ourselves. But her subject doesn’t seem limited to these cultural stereotypes as she references artists like Damien Hirst and Mary Heilmann in two of her most beautiful pieces. They are all worth a look.
Nicole Charbonnet exhibition “Erased” is on view at Laura Rathe Fine Art through July 5th. Prices range from $8,000-$22,000. Let me know if you want to go, or if you need one to come to you.