Photos Courtesy of Gemini H.
Color and mystery might sound like two halves of a whole, opposing sides that– when put together– you wouldn’t expect to heighten both their allures. But when we look at the portraits, sketches, and most amazingly, the colors of Gemini H.’s work, the mystery is alive and well with the dazzling display of femininity playfully depicted in rich pink hues and mythological realms. A part of the myth is her use and inspiration from Old Hollywood, a time in itself unattainable and beyond our grasp as it forever stays in the past and in our imagination.
“When my parents were still working far from home my baby sitters where actually my grandmothers,” she tells us. “One is really fond of old French music (Edith Piaf, Maurice Chevalier), and my other is a big fan of Old Hollywood– Fred Astaire was her favorite. I’ve been introduced to these icons since my early age. There was no internet, just few TV channels at home so I was watching the same movies or series for years. All these elegant women totally fascinated me, never been able to get them out of my head.”
The French artist took these inspirations to ink, drawn to the beauty preserved in the pages by her own hand. With no formal training, she worked often with her schoolteacher who was also a watercolorist that held countless “art classes” during the daytime, and when it came to after school spent at her grandparents’ printing company, she was often given plenty of paper and pens to occupy her time before her parents came back from work. She never stopped at this pastime that came so naturally to her, but in France where she tells us, “in the artistic field can be very conservative,” she was ready to push the limits of her imagination.
5 years later, after settling in Seoul, South Korea, Gemini is coming home.
But even as she finds herself circling back to Europe, her own past seeing new worlds across the globe continue to make a last impression on her depictions of elegant yet whimsical muses are timeless and loved by all. Her first experience abroad was in Canada at age 19 where she worked on a native reservation, and then back to Europe where she explored England with friends in search of Mr. Darcy, to no success. The thrill of discovery, different lands, new people– these fast changes in her young life fueled her desire to go even more above and beyond, halfway across the world to South Korea.
“Color, smells, landscape, traditional places and costumes, habits, history there are so many things that I can mention that probably had some influence on my work during that stay,” Gemini explains, “But there is also the challenging part of living abroad that I suppose gave me some extra self confidence to just draw and paint without caring of what people may think.”
If confidence is key, then each of her portraits are a already painted as an unlocked, open door into the charming and bold vision that Gemini captures and encourages her admirers to embrace. Showing the beauty of each woman in every ethnicity and figure, her subjects playfully partake in shared cultures and motifs from around the world, tinted in a rose glow that exudes the energy of nostalgia, a vision she thanks to when first stepping out into the world. Her work, forever and always, would be “not be led by any kind of trends, but be a vision of her soul.”
And as she bears her soul through these works, Gemini H. finds herself back at where it all started, continuing to capture the timeless mystery of the bygone to fill our hearts with a true longing for a life of beauty and magic.
Find more of Gemini H.’s work on her website at https://www.gemini-h.com/about