Name: Rachel Isadora
Age: 60 yo
I have been in the world of art my entire life; my mother and uncle were artists, I was surrounded by their artist friends and I was always encouraged but needed little encouragement, art was what I had to do. Crayons, pens, pencils and paints were always on hand.
From my beginning, the two elements that were most important to me were art and ballet. I was trained as a ballet dancer under George Balanchine along with some of the greatest dancers in history. Not only were they an inspiration, but so was the art created for the dance by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Jean Cocteau. When I became a professional dancer, I wore costumes created by Marc Chagall, danced in sets created by Georges Rouault and danced to music of the greats.
I began dancing as a very young child. My mother would take me to my older sister’s dance classes and I knew, when first exposed to this world, that I would become a dancer as well. In between classes and eventually rehearsals and performances, I would draw everything around me. I loved drawing the dancers, backstage lights and musicians. I never tire of these subjects and continue to paint them today.
At one period in my life, I spent a number of years in Africa. Here I found new inspiration in the people, color and light and I continue my love of painting this subject. I also began illustrating and writing children’s books and have done about 200. I embarked on this branch of my career when I was very young when I had to stop dancing due to an injury. Africa, as well as dance, have been a major inspiration for my books. I have won many awards over the years and my books have been translated into many languages.
Pertaining to your question about what I am trying to communicate with my art, I have no answer for this. I just paint and hope my paintings and drawings are enjoyed.
The art I most identify with, or find most inspirational, is that of Impressionism, Post- Impressionism, German Expressionism, Abstract and American Modernism. I love the freedom of line, color and light that all these movements share. For me, though created years ago, these schools of art remain “original” and exciting. I just returned from an exhibit of the work of Amedeo Modigliani which was held at the Jewish Museum in New York City. It was so beautiful, I cried.
My paintings have been in numerous galleries and art fairs in various countries. They were just exhibited, January 2018, at the Los Angeles Art Fair in California, USA. My next show will be in November 2018 at the Liss Gallery in Toronto, Canada. Books, I wrote and illustrated, are found worldwide as well and I am continually working on new ones. I have done books for many publishers over the years including; Penguin Random House, Harper Collins Publishers, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, etc.
I also illustrated a book for the Metropolitan Museum of Art,in New York City, where the other illustrations were by was Edgar Degas, this was a great honor.
My illustrations are also exhibited worldwide, the last show being in October at the Society of Illustrators in New York City.
I am fortunate that many galleries invite me to have exhibitions and, through this exposure, private collectors and followers continue to purchase my work. I am also fortunate to be able to create books a few times a year and have contracts reaching into the future.
I live in New York City and the southwest of France and I am surrounded by art and artists in both places. I continually visit galleries, exhibitions, museums, performances, etc. Unfortunately, I think the opportunities for undiscovered artists has diminished over the years. Galleries want a name before they will accept an artist so it’s the old catch 22. In other words, one has to be known before their work is exhibited but how does an artist get known if their work can not begin its journey into the world. It’s really tough. The same situation applies to publishing. I entered both worlds without an agent but today this is the dominant way to have one’s work be seen. Getting an agent is not easy either as they too want known artists, illustrators and writers. I really feel for young people starting out and wanting to enter the art world. Exposure in periodicals, newspapers and magazines, such as ‘International Media News KlassiK Magazine International’, possibly creates opportunities for artists to advance their careers. There are not many avenues in which beginning artists can get their work shown.