Claude Monet may be known as one of the founders of Impressionism, but this French painter's work is getting a pop art spin at a new exhibition in Florida. Inspired by the many paintings of Monet's own garden, the Roy Lichtenstein: Monet's Garden Goes Pop! exhibit is currently on display at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in downtown Sarasota.
The 15-acre campus has been transformed with the installment of large-scale versions of Monet's work as seen through the lens of Roy Lichtenstein — an icon in his own right, who pioneered the pop art movement in the 1960s. The result is a colorful collision of two legends that brings a bit of France to Florida.
"It will be like stepping into Lichtenstein's world — if he had created a world based on Monet," said Jennifer Rominiecki, president and CEO of Selby Gardens, in a statement. "Our horticultural team is taking the principles that Lichtenstein applied to his artwork and applying those to our interpretation of Monet's garden at Giverny. This innovative, immersive interpretation has never been done before."
Familiar components of Monet's garden at Giverny will appear at Selby Gardens, including the iconic Japanese bridge, which will span Selby's koi pond. The spin, of course, is that it will appear as though Lichtenstein painted it. A blend of 2D and 3D elements will playfully reimagine Monet's home and his famous water lilies. These features are all designed to engage visitors and lead them through the garden until they reach the Museum of Botany & the Arts.
At the museum, visitors can enjoy Lichtenstein's Water Lilies With Reflections series, a limited edition of large-screen prints that reinterpret Monet's water lilies.
"We're basically saying that if Lichtenstein had created Monet's garden, this might be what he would have dreamed up," said Rominiecki. "By giving our gardens the Monet treatment with an innovative and playful pop art twist, our guests will be able to explore Lichtenstein's interpretation of Monet in a variety of ways."
The Lichtenstein-meets-Monet exhibit is the latest installment in Selby Gardens' immersive Jean & Alfred Goldstein Exhibition Series, which explores the connection of nature and flowers to major artists. Roy Lichtenstein: Monet's Garden Goes Pop! will be on display through June 27, 2021. For more information, visit the Selby Gardens' website.
Jessica Poitevien is a Travel Leisure contributor currently based in South Florida, but always on the lookout for the next adventure. Besides traveling, she loves baking, talking to strangers, and taking long walks on the beach. Follow her adventures on Instagram.
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