Edouard Manet caused an absolute scandal when his painting Le Dejeuner sur L'Herbe (The Luncheon on the Grass) was first exhibited at the Salon des Refuses in 1863. Prior to this work, most nudes were only ever depicted in classical interiors. His raw juxtaposition of the female nude, against the clothed men in their suits, had the French public's panties in a twist. Today we are so inundated with outright sexuality that it's almost comical to imagine this painting ever causing controversy. That said, my incredible professor at FIT, John Jay had us revamp the notorious work this past spring. I was definitely seeking a little shock value myself.
Dreaming of my future trip to the Arabian Gulf, I sought out pictures of the Saharan Desert for inspiration. I knew I wanted to put a fashion spin on the appearance as well. With the most incredible references from Vogue, and books on Moroccan life and culture, I set forth on recreating this painting. Somewhere along the way I had a breakthrough with gouache paint lol. You will never know just how tricky it is unless you try. After several weeks of preparation, and one sleepless marathon, I managed to finish this painting on time. It was also used by the FIT Illustration Department in the pursuit of more government funding. I hope whoever saw it had a sense of humor :)