‘Art Alive’ 2015: Petals, and the Paintings That Inspire Them

Blossoms alone are a good enough reason to dance. When blossoms interpret, in their blossomy way, great works of art? Forget about it. Petals on the dancefloor. Bougainvillea boogie-woogie. Kick your stems up high.

We recently attended Art Alive at the San Diego Museum of Art, the institution’s annual event in which floral designers create arrangements inspired by works from the permanent collection. (Check out our preview and interview with rotunda designer René Van Rems here.) We went to the weekend’s opening party, Bloom Bash, or as we like to call it, Prom for Plant People.

Ryan and I got done up for the evening and got pictures in front of the graffiti installation by Chor Boogie.

We ran into our friends Sarah and Seth, and caught up over tequila cocktails.

Instead of flowers as headwear, this year I turned our passion flowers into jewelry by attaching the blooms’ filaments right onto my ear using eyelash glue. The whole thing took under 10 minutes. I might start making this a regular thing.

Ryan pinned an air plant to his lapel for the occasion.

We also found René Van Rems surrounded by well wishers and basking in the perfumed glory of his rotunda design.

The cocktails and food were fabulous. We mingled with friends. We cut a rug to Journey. Ryan wore a tillandsia boutonniere and I glued flower parts onto my own body parts.

Then we wandered through the galleries to marvel at over 100 interpretations. Pincushion proteas echoed the midcentury slices of color in Milton Avery’s Pensive Girl. Ginger flowers nodded at Saint Jerome. Tonight was made for ikebana arrangements of myrtle before Apollo and Daphne, and from now on, we might always associate Modigliani’s The Blue-Eyed Boy with staggered irises. And so many more feats of flowers and art.

Check out some of our favorite interpretations below!

—TH

Cassie Goland — floral interpretation of "The Buddha and Nanda in the Heaven of the Thrity-three Gods."

Cassie Goland — floral interpretation of “The Buddha and Nanda in the Heaven of the Thrity-Three Gods.”

Olga Nazimova — floral interpretation of “Female Nude Reading” by Robert Delaunay.

Brock Saucier of Imma Shaw Designs - Floral Interpretation of "Portrait of Alexander Freiherr Von Reitzenstein" by Lovis Corinth

Brock Saucier of Imma Shaw Designs — Floral Interpretation of “Portrait of Alexander Freiherr Von Reitzenstein” by Lovis Corinth.

Beverley Ireland, AIFD of Jasmine Creek Florist - Floral interpretation of "Woman Seated" by Hans Hofmann

Beverley Ireland, AIFD of Jasmine Creek Florist — floral interpretation of “Woman Seated” by Hans Hofmann.

Sandy Villa AIFD, CFD of Mission Hills Florist - Floral Interpretation of "After Many Days" by Thomas Hart Benton.

Sandy Villa AIFD, CFD of Mission Hills Florist — floral Interpretation of “After Many Days” by Thomas Hart Benton.

Carvill Veech of Crown Garden Club of Coronado - Floral Interpretation of "Pensive Girl" by Milton Avery.

Carvill Veech of Crown Garden Club of Coronado — floral Interpretation of “Pensive Girl” by Milton Avery.

Erin Kluzak of Flowers By Erin — floral interpretation of "Formation I" by Arthur Garfield Dove.

Erin Kluzak of Flowers By Erin — floral interpretation of “Formation I” by Arthur Garfield Dove.

Lora Lemus for Tish Toy of Neiman Marcus Visual Presentation — floral interpretation of El hilo de Ariadna

Lora Lemus for Tish Toy of Neiman Marcus Visual Presentation — floral interpretation of El Hilo de Ariadna.

Sharon Mintz of Organic Elements — floral interpretation of "Narciso" by Sandra Ramos.

Sharon Mintz of Organic Elements — floral interpretation of “Narciso” by Sandra Ramos.

Kristine Delmundo Sanchez interprets Stuart Davis, Terrace, 1962.

Second prize: Kristine Delmundo Sanchez — floral interpretation of “Terrace” by Stuart Davis.

Lauren Jones of The Twisted Calla — floral interpretation of "Wedding chest"

Lauren Jones of the Twisted Calla — floral interpretation of “Wedding Chest.”

Katherine Brozowski of Wild Orchid Florist — floral interpretation of "Court scene with dancing and feasting."

Katherine Brozowski of Wild Orchid Florist — floral interpretation of “Court scene with Dancing and Feasting.”

Betty Patterson Del Sol of Mira Costa College — floral interpretation of "The Blue-eyed Boy" by Amedeo Modigliani.

Betty Patterson Del Sol of Mira Costa College — floral interpretation of “The Blue-Eyed Boy” by Amedeo Modigliani.

Anne Heyne — floral interpretation of "Portrait of a Young Man" by Jörg Breu.

Anne Heyne — floral interpretation of “Portrait of a Young Man” by Jörg Breu.

Jennifer Cole of Jennifer Cole Florals — floral interpretation of "Queen Henrietta Maria of England" by Anthony van Dyck.

Jennifer Cole of Jennifer Cole Florals — floral interpretation of “Queen Henrietta Maria of England” by Anthony van Dyck.

Shabnam Miglani of The Village Garden Club of La Jolla — floral interpretation of "Mary Magdalene" by Bartolome Esteban Murillo.

Shabnam Miglani of the Village Garden Club of La Jolla — floral interpretation of “Mary Magdalene” by Bartolome Esteban Murillo.

Richelle Pittman-Kiyabu of Petals & Proposals — floral interpretation of "Saint Francis in Prayer in a Grotto" by Francisco de Zurbaran.

Richelle Pittman-Kiyabu of Petals & Proposals — floral interpretation of “Saint Francis in Prayer in a Grotto” by Francisco de Zurbaran.

Marilyn Pavel of Point Loma Garden Club — floral interpretation of "Saint Jerome" by Francisco de Zurbaran.

Marilyn Pavel of Point Loma Garden Club — floral interpretation of “Saint Jerome” by Francisco de Zurbaran.

Patty Roberts of Mission Bay Floral Design — floral interpretation of "The Penitent Saint Peter" by El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos).

Patty Roberts of Mission Bay Floral Design — floral interpretation of “The Penitent Saint Peter” by El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos).

Vita Reivydas — floral interpretation of "Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine with Saints and Angels" by The Master of Frankfurt.

Vita Reivydas — floral interpretation of “Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine with Saints and Angels” by the Master of Frankfurt.

Masked Muse II from the Art Forms Fashion Collection by Paul Hernandez, Fashion Designer, FIDM — floral interpretation of "Flower Garland with the Holy Family" by Daniel Seghers.

Masked Muse II from the Art Forms Fashion Collection by Paul Hernandez, a fashion design student at FIDM — floral interpretation of “Flower Garland With the Holy Family” by Daniel Seghers.

Dagmar Miller of Grossmont Mt. Helix Improvement Association — floral interpretation of "Portrait of a Lady" by Alessandro Allori.

Dagmar Miller of Grossmont Mt. Helix Improvement Association — floral interpretation of “Portrait of a Lady” by Alessandro Allori.

Jackie Zhang of Sakura Ikebana Group of the Ohara School — floral interpretation of "Apollo and Daphne" by Veronese (Paolo Caliari).

Jackie Zhang of Sakura Ikebana Group of the Ohara School — floral interpretation of “Apollo and Daphne” by Veronese (Paolo Caliari).

Carlos Franco of Green Fresh Florals — floral interpretation of "An Allegory of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle" by Jacob de Wit.

Carlos Franco of Green Fresh Florals — floral interpretation of “An Allegory of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle” by Jacob de Wit.

Mary Le of Ohara School of Ikebana, San Diego Chapter — floral interpretation of "Etienne-René, Cardinal Potier de Gesvres" by Pompeo Girolamo Batoni.

Mary Le of Ohara School of Ikebana, San Diego Chapter — floral interpretation of “Etienne-René, Cardinal Potier de Gesvres” by Pompeo Girolamo Batoni.

Donna McLee — floral interpretation of "Portrait of Don Luis de Borbón, Infante of Spain" by Anton Raphael Mengs.

Donna McLee — floral interpretation of “Portrait of Don Luis de Borbón, Infante of Spain” by Anton Raphael Mengs.

Jamie Kales of Jamie Wynne Floral — floral interpretation of "The Molo from the Basin of San Marco, Venice" by Canaletto (Giovanni Antonio Canal).

Jamie Kales of Jamie Wynne Floral — floral interpretation of “The Molo from the Basin of San Marco, Venice” by Canaletto (Giovanni Antonio Canal).

Jamie Kales of Jamie Wynne Floral — floral interpretation of "The Molo from the Basin of San Marco, Venice" by Canaletto (Giovanni Antonio Canal).

Jamie Kales of Jamie Wynne Floral — floral interpretation of “The Molo from the Basin of San Marco, Venice” by Canaletto (Giovanni Antonio Canal).

Aja Wood of Shellshoni Creations - Floral interpretation of "Apsarus."

First prize: Aja Wood of Shellshoni Creations — floral interpretation of “Apsarus.”

Next year can’t come soon enough!

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Looks like such a smashing event! And I literally lol’d at “glued flower parts to my body parts”. Now I’m curious to see those filaments as false eyelashes!

    I’m amazed at all the talent in the flower arrangements too! Truly stunning interpretations!

    • Carnivore Girl, yes! There’s a whole world of possibilities inside that little tube of body glue. Even more so in the spring. The weekend before the party we played around with some passiflora-as-body-art options…including some lash play. (Unsolicited images below.)

      The interpretations were so very inspired. In a way, blossoms seem like the ideal language for translating art — flowers filling in where words can’t.

  • Jennifer

    Those are all amazing. Impossible to pick a favorite. I like the range of interpretations, some are definitely more literal! It would be interesting to see a detailed recreation of some famous floral/ fruitscapes like Van Huysum.