Artist and Designer Rebecca Moses Reveals Her Latest Work, a Series of Sensual, Kaleidoscope-like Paintings

“I’ve always been a bohemian. I’ve gone the unfamiliar route, maybe the riskier path.”

That’s Rebecca Moses, discussing her lifestyle, impulses and the essence of what she’s conveying in her latest exhibition “Bohemian Gardens,” a series of large, semi-clad, bejeweled, sensual yet playful female portraitures. It’s a dazzling kaleidoscope of color, squiggles, dots and intricate print motifs.

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“The bohemian style is, you don’t match it. You don’t realize it. It just happens. And it comes from a deeper place,” Moses said, while conducting a preview of her eight canvases on display at the Ralph Pucci International gallery, 44 West 18th Street in Manhattan. The exhibit opens Monday.

"Angelica Fantasizing" by Rebecca Moses
“Angelica Fantasizing” by Rebecca Moses.

“I wanted to create paintings that revealed an intimate energy, and color to me represents energy. I’ve always been fascinated by the power of color, and I’m also very fascinated by prints and movement,” Moses explained. “I figured, what if the only solid part of the painting is her flesh, and then everything else is the energy around her. There are no lines. I wanted the patterns just to bleed into each other.…So by using color and print, I’m creating these mythical-like gardens around these girls, and this kind of very intimate energy, whether it’s flirtatious or joyful, sexual or sensual, or teasing, whatever. I wanted to have this sense of reveal. And it’s not always easy to get to that reveal. What’s her personality? What’s her aura?”

Rebecca Moses
Rebecca Moses. Photo by Robbie Quinn

Moses is well-known for whimsical fashion illustrations, and her own fashion collections of the past and as former head designer at Genny. She’s also a mother and a world traveler. In connecting art with fashion, she pays tribute to women, though in Bohemian Gardens, while the women are exotically accessorized, fashion is secondary to the allure and fantasy of the settings, and the spirit of self-expression and confidence. “I wasn’t relying on clothing here,” Moses said. “I was relying more on their energy, their spirit and maybe a tease of style.” The paintings, 18 months in the making, are either 6-feet-by-5-feet, or 5-feet-by-4-feet, and are priced $25,000 or $30,000.

“She’s changing her style of painting a bit,” said Pucci, who has collaborated with Moses on exhibits since 2016. Noting the Persian and Moroccan-inspired colors and mosaic patterns, Pucci said, “The paintings are almost primitive-like, and yet there are these very intricate backgrounds. It’s magical what Rebecca has created.”

"The Essence of Mimi"
“The Essence of Mimi” painting by Rebecca Moses.

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