Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Kenneth Rougeau: Featured Artfire Artist

I'm pleased to feature the digital collages of artist Kenneth Rougeau today.  Kenneth Rougeau is a 34 year old digital artist who currently resides in Portland, Oregon. He has created numerous surrealistic fantasy images and has also created collages to illustrate Lewis Carroll's Alice In Wonderland  and Through The Looking Glass.

I find these collages satisfying on many levels, but particularly because each image mines a rich and often elegantly grotesque vein of visual reference and art history.

This is Metamorphosis, a beautifully-composed piece which manages to combine references to traditional iconography of St Bartholemew, a Victorian-era naturalist's notebook and, perhaps, The Silence of the Lambs into a very pleasing whole :)

Here's one of Rougeau's extraordinary series of illustrations for both Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.  This is Wool and Water,  the scene in Looking Glass with Alice in the shop with the Sheep (the Sheep always used to bother me, well, all of Tenniel's illustrations are rather unsettling :)  While clearly influenced by Tenniel in terms of the composition, this illustration delights me with the richness of its colouring and references.  And I love how very specific the breed and markings of the Sheep is!

I love the terrifying chaos of this one, Pig and Pepper, showing the Duchess, her Cook, the Baby (who later turns into a pig) and the Cheshire Cat from Wonderland.   I particularly adore the backwards reference to Quinten Matsijs' famous 16th century grotesque of an ugly old woman, which was Tenniel's original inspiration for his own illustration of the Duchess and her pointy little chin :)  I don't know the reference used for the Cook -- she looks very Blakeian to me -- so would someone else let me know the source?  She's fabulous -- I love the fact that she's on fire, herself!

And here's the surreal Desert Passage.  The lighting in this one is just extraordinary.

Actually, I think I may love every single piece in Kenneth's studio --- so instead of going on and on about it, I'll just send you his way:

krougeau's studio on Artfire


  1. It's an honor and a privilege to find my work here. Thanks so much for your delightful review!

    As to your question regarding the makeup of the cook in Pig & Pepper, her head & arms are composed of one of the furies from Adolphe William Bouguereau's fantastic painting 'Orestes Pursued by the Furies', and the flames & body were pulled from a 13th century allegorical piece by Giotto di Bondone which depicts Envy, one of several vices he created works based on (they're all pretty neat).

    Have a happy Thanksgiving & thank you again for your support, it's greatly appreciated!
    - Ken

  2. Wow, Ken, thanks for commenting! And thanks for telling me the source of of the cook :) It was bothering me ...

    Brilliant work ... off to shop!

  3. Just a quick update, but I've moved over to Etsy recently and can now be found at
    Thanks so much for your support!
    - Ken