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Mixology (22)

Painting:  The Corn Poppy, 1919, Oil Painting by Kees van Dongen. Check out those stunning red hat and black eyes! Kees van Dongen, was a Dutch painter and one of the Fauves. He gained a reputation for his sensuous, at times garish, colorful portraits. In 1897, Van Dongen arrived in Paris where he would share a studio with the famous Picasso. / Rug: Just Poppy in Doormat by ModCloth. There’s nothing more inviting than a bouquet of fresh flowers in your foyer! Now you can cultivate the same charming feel on your porch by welcoming guests with this poppy-covered doormat. Crafted from natural coir fiber with a convenient non-slip backing, this fresh addition to your decor features a hand-screened floral pattern in sweet shades of cranberry, persimmon, and clementine.

Painting: Travelers by Tatsuro Kiuchi from 20×  Kiuchi was born in Tokyo, Japan, in 1966 and began his art career as a children’s book illustrator.  Kiuchi has been commissioned by such clients as Royal Mail, to do the Christmas Stamp Collection in 2006, and Starbucks, for the Worldwide Holiday Promotion “Pass the Cheer” in 2007. / Rug: InterDesign Abstract Rug- Aqua/White from Target. Lines, the color of pools treated with chlorine, ripple across this tufted rug and give a modern and geometric edge to your space. The contract between the intermingled spiderwebs of the robin’s egg hue and the white is a gentle yet stark.

Painting:  Beat Bop by Jean-Michel Basquiat. A dark black canvas featuring graffiti influenced and rough sketches of bones, what appears to be a crown, an explosion (and within it, the word “bang!” in capital letters), and Roman numerals. Basquiat got his start in SAMO, a graffiti collective in Manhattan’s early-’80s downtown scene, and became a notorious painter before his death at 27. Rammellzee and K-Rob, American rappers originally released their hiphop single Beat Bop in 1983 on the record label Tartown with cover artwork commissioned to the artist. / Rug: Abyss & Habidecor Rug, Script from Bloomingdales. A bold, modern design in striking black and white, crafted in plush, super soft cotton. The scribbles are irreverent and uneven, paralleling the chaos of a Basquiat painting.


An Artist’s Dwelling (6)

Roxa Smith was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela (yummy Arepas). She came to the US in her teens and attended Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, earning a degree in Art History and German in 1984 with a minor in Visual Arts. In 1987, she received a Graduate Certificate in the Fine Arts from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She now lives in and works in New York City and is represented by George Billis Gallery NY and George Billis Gallery LA.. Roxa has exhibited nationally and internationally.  Her painting focus on mostly empty interiors, wherein the remnants of a family or place remain regardless of human portraits. She is currently an English as a Second Language (ESL) Instructor at Baruch College- Continuing and Professional Studies (CAPS). Her interests include cooking, biking, traveling, education, and India. To buy some of her works and prints directly online, go HERE.

Roxa Smith, Green Couch, 36”x45” oil on canvas, 2009

Roxa Smith, Continuity, 2011, oil on canvas, 30 x 40 inches

Smith explains her series, Interiors, “The spaces we inhabit or visit each take on an individual character and sensibility in our minds, a memory of the time we passed there, of the company we shared. These voyeuristic paintings depict actual places, recalling their essence without seeking to faithfully recreate them. The intimate scale in this ongoing series of gouache on wood portraits, often only 5 by 7 inches, invites the viewer to enter the room, to experience the narrative quality within the quiet space, devoid of people, yet evocative and teeming with life.” Her use of light, color, shadow, and angle is extremely unique. Her images are intimate and a little lonely. Don’t you just want to dive in to the realistic depth of the painting and take up residence on her canvases?

Roxa Smith, Pillow Heaven, 30″x40″ oil on canvas, 2010

Roxa Smith, The Piano Room, 2010, oil on canvas, 30 x 40 inches

Roxa Smith, La Cocina Azul, 2009, oil on canvas 45 x 36 inches

“In these interiors and exteriors, I strive to capture and then distill fleeting moments in time and seek to illuminate the “spirit” of a space. The images are often devoid of people yet evocative and teeming with life, intended not to purely document a place but rather to portray its essence. I concentrate on the architectural details, source of light, and complex patterns within a composition. The isolation and juxtaposition of these elements creates a picture that is anything but a straightforward view…”, continues Smith in her motivation for another series, Interiors and Landscapes. I love the fact that her images often feature a room within a room. The art on a wall captures and directly reflects a captured moment in space, a moment that is ephemeral. This concept of magic realism reminds me of  another native South American – Argentinian, Jorge Luis Borges, who writes, “You have wakened not out of sleep, but into a prior dream, and that dream lies within another, and so on, to infinity, which is the number of grains of sand.” What is life but an image within an image, a dream within a dream? Borges believed that reality is not always based on probability, and so Smith’s paintings remind me of the weird and fanciful aspects of interiors. Sorry for the esoteric mind bend but, it just goes to show you how deeply Smith’s paintings make me think and feel.

The above paintings are equal parts traditional, eclectic, and culturally inspired. Rooms that remind me of Roxa Smith’s oeuvre, and her use of pattern, juxtaposition, and unexpected color:

Room designed by Vintage Renewal from Idledale, Co., image found HERE.

Back Bay Apartment, Boston by Nirmada Interior Design, image found HERE.
This eclectic, print-filled room from Better Homes & Gardens, HERE. 
Neon pink fridge, Latin American flair, Mosaics, and that yellow wall!  Image via Big Chill, HERE.
The two-room 40 Winks hotel in Stepney Green, London, UK. Images found HERE.
This patterned filled workspace courtesy of Absolutely Beautiful Things, HERE.
Image found via Anthropologie, HERE.
Image of Hotel Thoumieux in Paris, France found HERE.
Shop by the Numbers: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 /
I understand that not everyone can live in such a BRIGHT and multifarious room so, like in Smith’s paintings, it is enough to just contemplate the type of people that fill a space. My mind has been attacked and invaded by color and pattern lately; I promise I will calm down the rooms in the next few posts!