"A Nutcracker Doll"
Rajka Kupesic, "A Nutcracker Doll," oil on linen.
RAJKA KUPESIC, Nutcracker
The Collector’s Gallery, Calgary
Nov. 4 - 25, 2006
By Dina O'Meara
In her children’s book The Nutcracker, Toronto-based painter Rajka Kupesic brings a deep, velvet-like richness to each oil-on-linen piece, infusing the backgrounds with shades of blue and gold to create a dreamscape of the classic Christmas story. The project started as a favour for prima ballerina Karen Kain, who provided the words for the book. The work took almost two years to complete, and met with critical acclaim on publication in late 2005. The book sold out before Christmas, and has been translated into three languages. Kupesic’s challenge was to make each painting a stand-alone story, and avoid the sugar coating – each painting connects to the overall fairy tale without cloying sentimentality. “I wanted to avoid being kitsch,” says Kupesic, who began as a classically trained ballerina. Instead, she focused on the prime subjects of the fairy tale, adding whimsical touches like a Flamenco dancer in the frame of the “Spanish Chocolate” painting, and a harpist in the “Waltz of the Flowers” painting (in the Tchaikovsky ballet, the waltz opens with a harp arpeggio). In addition to her Nutcracker Collection paintings, this exhibition will also showcase Kupesic’s latest pastel works, continuing her celebration of women and family.
Represented by: The Collector’s Gallery, Calgary; Galerie Jeannine Blais, North Hatley QC.