Meet the South's New Tastemakers
The Creative Class of 2012: Fifteen trendsetters shaping the world of style
From ethereal paintings and hand-cast jewelry to futuristic cottages and next-generation sporting attire, the work of these Southern visionaries is helping to shape the worlds of art, style, and design. >Click here to see bonus photos from the story
Dream Girl: Rebecca Rebouché
Photo: Amy Dickerson
Folk art, surrealism, and the influence of wildlife illustrators such as John James Audubon merge in the dreamy paintings of Rebecca Rebouché. “I’m always using the natural world as my echo,” the Louisiana
native says. “There’s always an element of magic or transcendence that you can never actually achieve in the real world with a photograph.” The results can be both haunting (a white goose head and a wedding dress afloat on a dark background) and sweet (honeycomb clouds raining sticky amber against a blue sky).
That fanciful quality caught the attention of scouts from clothing and home goods retailer Anthropologie two years ago. They spied a canvas hanging in the home of one of Rebouché’s New Orleans clients and commissioned one for the store. Now the balloons, trees, and birds that animate the artist’s acrylic and mixed-media paintings also grace dishes, bedding, and wallpaper across the country.
Although she travels for her collaborations with the store, Rebouché, who is thirty, remains rooted in New Orleans. She has an Uptown showroom in a former beauty shop and a loyal clientele who flock to her for personalized family tree paintings: six-foot-by-six-foot heirlooms created through interviews and sketches. But Rebouché works best in her tree-shaded studio north of the city near Abita Springs, where the wild South abounds. “There’s sort of a phantom energy, like there’s so much that has happened here,” she says. “It’s not always in a good way, but it’s authentic.” rebeccarebouche.com