classic muse nudité féminine contemporary
CHILDHOOD R+BELLE DIVINITY NEVER AGAIN HUMAN PROPERTY
LADDER assemblage
The R†BELLE Series

 

   This series was produced to inspire and honor the spirit of Womanhood-- in all its identities. It is a celebration of the many aspects of The Feminine. The R†BELLE Series is a collection of photographic illustrations that feature the individual and magnificent presence of heroines and legends, matriarchs and saints, princesses and paupers, painters and poets, scientists and philosophers, and more.

   The series’ creative concept is to give the impression of the cover of a fictitious magazine-- R†BELLE. These “covers", with re-appropriated photographs, are intentionally devoid of text, names, reference or titles, to have their spirit speak for itself. Much like familiar magazines (VOGUE, ELLE, etc.), imagine how you might be drawn to open R†BELLE if it were beside those others. That attraction is the foundation of this contemporary art series. The use of familiar images (with my artistic alteration) was essential in providing recognition by the viewer. I have tremendous respect for every artist who captured the essence of their subject and I give credit to them for doing so.

   The R†BELLE series was conceived as a result of my struggle with a fellow artist with whom I was collaborating on a series. The collection, COVERGIRL, as he initially conceived it, was blatantly sexist and shockingly disrespectful to women. In my efforts to influence him in revising the essence of the COVERGIRL series, it spurred my desire to create a series of my own.

   R†BELLE is my response to that difficult experience, as well as, to the repression I have felt as a woman in a “man’s world.” Where male privilege and sexism have attempted to make me less important, less heard, less influential, and less respected, I liberate myself through creative means. I created an art series that would serve the broadest, genuinely inclusive, and empowering definition of “woman” by remembering the incredible women from history who shaped and paved the way; fought for something; spoke up; represented; changed the norm; or broke the mold. The R†BELLE series is my tribute to their glory and honor, and so in turn… may we be inspired… and empowered.


This series is ongoing. Please re-visit this page for updates / More images coming in 2018.

Eve - 2014 (original painting attributed to Lucas Cranach the Elder)
Amelia Earhart - 2014 (original photograph by New York Times Co./Getty Images)
Frida Kahlo - 2014 (original photograph by Imogen Cunningham)
Georgia O'Keeffe - 2017 (original photograph by Laura Gilpin)
Patti Smith - 2016 (adaptation of original photograph by Robert Mapplethorpe, and Georgia O'Keeffe's 'Black Iris')
Marsha P. Johnson - 2017 
(original photograph by unknown)
'Little Edie' / Edith Beale - 2014 (adaptation of still from Albert and David Maysles' film,  'Grey Gardens')
Rosa Parks - 2014 (original photograph from USIA/National Archives)
Coco Chanel - 2014 (original photograph by Man Ray)
Yoko Ono - 2014 (adaptation of original photograph by Bob Gruen)
Maya Lin - 2017 (adaptation of original image by Walter Smith)
Malala Yousafzai - 2014 (adaptation of original photograph by Antonio Zazueta Olmos)
Pocahontas - 2014 (original painting attributed to Jean Leon Gerome Ferris)
Mae West - 2014 (original photograph is a filmstill from 'She Done Him Wrong')
Kiki Smith - 2017 (original photograph by Erik Madigan Heck)
Tina Turner - 2014 (adaptation of original photograph by "JAT")
Jodie Foster - 2014 (original photograph by Bradley Patrick)
Lucille Ball - 2014 (original photograph from Silver Screen Collection/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
all photos © vienne rea. all rights reserved