Scarlett Rouge’s practice echoes her nomadic life – influenced by mythos, geographical settings, and navigations between cultures and disciplines. Rouge’s mediums include: painting, sculpture, performance, video and installation art. Currently based in Torino, Italy, Rouge has mostly splits her time between Los Angeles, and Paris, France.
Rouge’s performance work takes place in the L.A. art scene, where the culture of “do-it-yourself” art happenings, are an institution. A central thesis in Rouge’s work is the renegotiation of ancient myths, coupled with the contemporary gaze, towards depicting our current political and sociological systems within an eternal timeless context.
Scarlett Rouge’s performance career began at the precocious age of four, when she was a member of the pop-punk band ‘The Visiting Kids’ – conceptualised by performance artist Nancye Ferguson, and produced by Devo’s Mark Mothersbaugh. Between 1985-87, Rouge could be seen incarnating various characters in her father, Richard Newton’s, experimental theatre and film productions; namely, a controversial reinterpretation of Ibsen‘s ‘In a Doll’s House’ that later won Newton the International Ibsen Award in 2013. In 2011, eroding the divide between personal and public boundaries, Rouge participated in Newton’s ‘Have You Seen My Privacy?’ exhibition at 18th Street Art Center, where Rouge created the performance Sex, God and Webcams, interacting with a live online audience while being simultaneously video-cast to viewers within the gallery.
In Europe, Rouge’s mural work is inspired by religious art and the historical use of frescos to engage with the collective psyche. A student of ‘art as the new religious movement’ Rouge infuses a distinct playfulness across her artistic expressions. Utilising symbolic language, she reconstructs archetypes to fit our present-day ethos, in effort to create a therapeutic framework, which strives to touch the secular inclinations of our modern souls.
Scarlett Rouge completed her BFA in 2002 at CalArts, CA. At first, majoring in photography, Rouge deemed it was too “sunless in the darkroom”, switched to painting and then completed her studio studies in installation art. Though raised with avant-gardism ideals, Rouge is somewhat of a traditionalist. After graduation, she completed a ‘life course’, working her way from busboy and go-go dancer to head chef at Les Deux Cafes, LA, the iconic restaurant established by her visionary mother, Michele Lamy. Family-ties are an important anchor in Rouge’s life. She continues to participate in the family business – from phenomenal events, to the opening of flagship stores, or the fabrication of contextual artworks and displays. Notable among these, A Matter of Life and Death, was a temporary performance installation Rouge created for Lamyland’s Bargenale during the Venice Biennale, 2015.
Recent group exhibitions include: Composition Poetique Quotidienne, at Youn Galerie, Montreal, Canada, and The Desert of Blythe, an installation created for Fresh Winds Biennale, Gardur, Iceland, 2016. Recits des Trois Perverses Femme Seulement, at Jancar Gallery, and Art Jungle in the Giardini della Reggia di Venaria Reale, Torino, Italy, 2012. Solo exhibitions include: Blithe Spirit, 2013, a painting exhibit, at Ghost Space, Torino, Italy. Origine Oscura in the Asylum of Infinite Becoming, a multi-media installation presented at Paratissima 8, Torino, Italy, 2012, and In the Womb, 2010, at Antebellum Gallery, Hollywood, California. Scarlett Rouge’s work has been written about in The Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Lei, StylelikeU, What’s Contemporary, and Dossier Journal.