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As we know, Art Nouveau is an ornamental style of art, architecture and decoration, which peaked in popularity at the turn of the 20th century, sometime between 1890-1905. Seen as, quite literally, the “new art”, art nouveau employed ornamental, floral motifs and stylized, curvilinear forms that are coming back in style today. Although the art nouveau movement was greatly influenced by the Czech artist Alphonse Mucha, some of the art nouveau motifs and decorative designs were also associated with even more popular artists, including Gustav Klimt, Antoni Gaudi and Louis Comfort Tiffany, each of whom adapted and reshaped the movement according to his unique artistic style.

The contemporary artist Kimberlee Rocca is a pioneer in the new art technique of Foil Imaging, which revives and reinvents some of the art nouveau motifs and techniques. Like in many of Gustav Klimt’s paintings, foil imaging allows the artistic application of ornate and glittery foil to works of art. In our times, however, this process employs new technologies. Foils come in rolls that are similar in texture to aluminum foil. They’re applied to paper using heat, pressure and various other techniques known as the Iowa Foil Printer. The color pallet of the foils is generally limited, favoring bright colors like silver, bronze and gold which add an ornamental, dazzling touch to the paintings. According to Kimberlee Rocca, however, “Foil Imaging is not traditional gold or silver leaf; it is a printmaking process that is being pioneered by artists, like Kimberlee, mentored by the Iowa Print Group at the University of Iowa.”

Kimberlee’s foil images draw the viewer’s eye with their bright colors and playful, ornamental and colorful designs. They combine traditional art nouveau elements with Surrealist and abstract motifs, to offer the best of both centuries and the best of both worlds. As Kimberlee states, “My art reflects struggles and victories in my own life by use of abstract works and figures. I put to paper the very nature of the desire to discover and become who I am meant to be. The results are works filled with life, promise, hope, joy, strength and purpose. We are all here to help and encourage one another; my purpose is to do that through my art work.” You can find out more about Kimberlee Rocca’s artwork and the Foil Imaging process on her website, http://www.kimberleerocca.com.

Claudia Moscovici, postromanticism.com


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