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20 Questions

My New Orleans: 20 Questions with Rebecca Rebouché

“I feel it’s a privilege to be in a relationship with New Orleans, despite how difficult that relationship can be at times,” says Rebecca Rebouché, an artist who makes, in her words, “allegorical paintings of the natural world.” Rebouché was born in Franklin, Louisiana, but has spent most of her life in New Orleans making art.

Rebecca Rebouché
Rebecca Rebouché in a promotional photograph for Anthropologie (Photo: Bettina Lewin)

“I’m inspired by the flora and fauna of the Deep South,” she says. “But metaphorically my work is always about people… people in our literature or in our songs.”

In order to strike this balance between human stories and the natural world, Rebouché splits her time between her Uptown studio, “The Beauty Shop,” and her more secluded work space on the North Shore, which she fondly calls “The Treehouse.”

Anthropologie customers may recognize Rebouché’s work, as she has collaborated with the popular retail store since 2010. Her art is whimsical, but often covers dark, thought-provoking topics.

“When I moved back home after Katrina, I felt hyper-aware of the temporal nature of our human existence, the ancient nature of the natural world and the dichotomy of those things,” she says. “I wanted to express that.”

In addition to her work with Anthropologie and her regular commissions, Rebouché is known for her “family tree” portraits, which add a personal touch to a traditional way of recording heritage.

Visit Rebouché’s website to shop or stop by The Beauty Shop, open by appointment or by chance, in Uptown New Orleans.

Snowball
Courtesy: Rebecca Rebouché

20 Questions with Rebecca Rebouché

1. Who is your favorite New Orleanian, dead or alive, real or imagined?

Walker Percy because of The Moviegoer, which is my favorite New Orleans-based story in literature.

2. What first brought you to New Orleans?

I was born in a small town called Franklin, Louisiana, and my family moved to New Orleans when I was in first grade.

3. In your opinion – what’s the best neighborhood in New Orleans?

I would say the best neighborhood is always changing depending on whats happening on that day, week or time of the year. It’s best to have friends in every neighborhood!

4. City Park or Audubon Park?

City Park. I like that it still has some wildness to it. There’s just this vastness, a feeling that you could get lost in it.

5. Describe the best meal you’ve eaten in New Orleans?

Huh. The best meals are always about 1) who you’re with 2) how good the food is and 3) where the meal is happening. So I have a friend who does a red beans and rice ‘salon’ on Monday nights. It’s a prized invitation to get. Inevitably when you do, it’s great people gathered around an old table with amazing food – amazing in its simplicity.

Courtesy: Rebecca Rebouché
Courtesy: Rebecca Rebouché

6. Where’s your favorite brunch spot?

I like Patois for brunch.

7. What’s your favorite po-boy?  Where do you go to get it?

That’s a tough question. I like Domilise’s oyster po-boy.

8. You’ve got friends visiting and it’s their first time in New Orleans – where are you taking them?

Oh, my God. That list would be pages and pages. It depends on what time of year it is and what’s going on. I’m taking them to Jean Lafitte National Park to be in nature, I’m taking them for a long bike ride through the Marigny and Bywater, and I’m taking them for a night out on the town, bar-hopping and seeing live music.

9. What’s your favorite neighborhood bar?

I like the back bar at Oxalis.

10. What is your favorite New Orleans cocktail and where do you go to get it?

A Sazerac from The Columns.

Courtesy: Rebecca Rebouché
Photo: Work by Rebecca Rebouché

11. Snowball or daiquiri? Where from and what flavor?

The first part depends on what time of day it is. I’m a huge fan of snowballs. I like to paint them and eat them, and grape has always been my favorite flavor, unless I’m enduring the line at Hansen’s (which is well worth the wait.) Then I get cream of coffee.

12. Best spot to see live music?

On the street! The best times are the times you can’t plan for.

13. Favorite New Orleans musician or band?

That’s too difficult – I have so many favorites. Right now I’m really excited about the artists that played at my recent show – Kristin Diable and Dustan Louque.

14. Favorite New Orleans festival?

That’s tough. I like Jazz Fest.

15. Favorite Mardi Gras parade?

My favorite is Mardi Gras Day. I march with the Society of St. Anne. It’s classic.

Courtesy: Rebecca Rebouché
Photo: Work by Rebecca Rebouché

16. Where do you shop in New Orleans?

I like Sterling Provision. I get art supplies at National Art & Hobby Uptown, New Orleans Art Supply in the Bywater, and Mo’s Art Supply on the North Shore.

17. What is your favorite New Orleans museum?

I like NOMA – classic.

18. Where do you go to watch The Saints play?

The dome – hopefully. Fingers crossed I get a text from someone with season tickets!

19. Describe New Orleans in one word.

Enchanting.

20. When was the last time you fell in love with New Orleans and why?

I think it was Mardi Gras Day this year. Because of the colors and the textures and the people and the spectacle of such a cultural tradition: the living hearts that it is.

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