Frame of Mind: Celeste Rapone

Celeste Rapone explores overproduction in her practice of painting. She starts her process in a place of ‘pretty’ and, in examining the subjects’ dysfunctional relationship with their environment her paintings become increasingly violated and pushed to a state of grotesque through the use of garish color and rough texture. She begins her work conceptually¬† by pointing to consumption of ‘polite’ bad taste obtained from mass-produced kitsch decor; the objects and palette that determine the initial composition are received from a retail modality and later manipulated to reflect the dystopic, non-idealized space they inhabit in the paintings. I am drawn to Celeste’s piece “Present” that shows crying babies, toned and naked bodies of women, and a big fat shiny bow. I can’t help but to think of a few of my friends who are newly minted mothers whom are not feeling quite motherly. At a time in which they are suppose to be overwhelmed and swimming in maternal bliss, they are met with the cries of screaming babies, suddenly find themselves lamenting over new (un-sexy and unwanted) body shapes and realizing that in spite of this- they are to accept this “present” and receive with a slappy happy smile on their faces lest they are ridden with guilt for feeling otherwise. This piece has inspired me to create a nursery that is not the usual saccharine and heavenly nursery as portrayed in the lands of nodding heads. Rather, this nursery allows mommies everywhere to hold on to something that might truly express how they feel.

1) Most cribs are finished in a warm walnut or honey chestnut color. A mom that has been gifted with a wailing tot wants a crib that can scream louder than the tearful babe. This green Kalon Caravan Crib, which (surprise, surprise!) was inspired by the “storybook circus wagon” screams louder than a wagon full of earsplitting newborns. But we like this kind of scream, yes we do.

2) Clothes to fold, counter tops to clean, and cookies to nibble on. A mom has only got two hands and she’s not exactly “toe talented” enough to complete all of these feats with her feet (pun intended, duh.) So a Universal Snug Seat, also known as the “Babysitter’s Chair” is a perfect nursery addition to keep a watchful eye on the little cherub while multi-tasking.

3) As a modern mother your baby needs modern toys. Introducing the wooden trike. Toys inspire children’s imagination and help them to develop physically and intellectually. Buy this trike, then pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

4) New moms often feel as if they are in a maze. Turn left. Turn right. Wait, go back. This Pushkar Jaipuri rug expresses this feeling with its patchwork of various lines and patterns. Hand woven in India with 100% jaipur cotton, this luxurious floor accent is a must for a crawling baby.

5) Sit down. Seriously. Moms can still be a “SuperMom!” off their feet. Aaaaaand they can be a “SuperDuperMom!” in this Etienne Glider.

6) No sense in sitting down if one cannot prop up their feet. This light-blue Moroccan pouf is a no-brainer. And in the future toddler years of tantrums, this can also serve as a “time-out” pouf. Mighty brilliant.

7) Green cribs (inspired by a circus wagon, mind you) and pink rugs. All of this pink and green makes me want to throw in this pink Elephant Storage Bin for good measure and balance (add this to item number 9 regarding “things that go together”)

8) When baby keeps you up during those late-night feedings, you can reminded of WHO is up with you with this charming wooden owl mobile.

9) Things go together. New mommies get together because one understands what the other goes through. Babies have play dates with each to give each other their germs whilst building up their immune systems. Sometimes a glass of wine can go with breast milk because mommie and daddy need a little bit of alone time. Hence, the Kalon Caravan dresser goes with the Caravan Crib. Going, going, SOLD to the mother with triplets, bless her heart. (luckily the Kalon Caravan cribs come in other bright colors like blue, yellow and red so that each kid can have their own, unique crib)

And remember kids, every present is a gift.


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