Claire Rosen
Claire Rosen

Everyday in the Smorgasburg Beer Garden

Humankind has always had a complicated relationship with nature characterized by awe and admiration, tension and destruction. The human desire to be surrounded by images of nature has been replicated in household ornamentation throughout civilization.

The walls of the imperial villas of Ancient Rome were adorned with frescoes detailing rich flora and fauna. During the Renaissance, Rafael reinvented this ancient style through his grotesques, which depict birds, fruits, and plant life. Carefully crafted representations of the natural world were re-imagined yet again, in nineteenth century Britain when William Morris began producing richly ornamented wallpaper featuring wild birds and vegetation.

Artist Claire Rosen offers a new perspective on this tradition, with portraits of creatures photographed against complementary backdrops, featuring reproductions of historic wallpaper popular during the Victorian era. As the cult of colonization and exploration spread during the Victorian era in Europe, it yielded brutal discovery and domination of faraway places, creatures, and cultures. As these discoveries made their way back to Europe, their collection and display, as well as a general fascination with the natural world–and its exotic inhabitants–rose in fashion.

This series references the desire to possess the beautiful, wild, and exotic, possessions that permanently change the object of desire through its dislocation. The backgrounds in this series were selected to induce beauty, optical illusion, and visual blending: the animals appear to belong when in reality, it is a far cry from their natural environment.

Artist Bios

  • Claire Rosen

    Claire Rosen is an award-winning, internationally exhibited and collected artist whose elaborate constructions often feature animals or still-life which are evocative of classical European paintings. Though the work is rooted in traditional aesthetics, it is intended to create dialogue around contemporary issues such as the need for environmental conservation. The transportive images captivate with a fascination of the natural world. Claire was twice named to Forbes “30 under 30” for Art & Design and her work has been featured in Communication Arts, The Guardian, Harper’s Magazine, NPR, National Geographic, Refinery29, Smithsonian Magazine, and The Washington Post. Claire speaks about the creative process around the world and her book, IMAGINARIUM: The Process Behind the Pictures, covers the artistic practice of photography. Claire is a Fujifilm creator. She graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2006 and Bard College at Simon’s Rock in 2003. Claire is currently restoring the historic Warwick Furnace Farm with her family in rural Chester County, PA cultivating Certified Naturally Grown lavender, crafting natural artisan lavender products and building an artistic program around the intersection of art, history, and nature.


  • United Photo Industries (UPI)

    United Photo Industries (UPI)

    United Photo Industries (UPI) is a New York based nonprofit organization that works to promote a wider understanding of, and increased access to, the art of photography.

    Since its founding in 2011, UPI has rapidly solidified its position in the public art landscape by continuing to showcase thought-provoking, challenging, and exceptional photography from across the globe. In its first seven years, UPI has presented the work of more than 2,500 visual artists in gallery exhibitions and public art installations worldwide.


 archive : 2019

Featuring: Claire Rosen

Presented by: United Photo Industries (UPI)
  • United Photo Industries (UPI)


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