Nicole Charbonnet: Dragons, Dinosaurs, Divinations and Other Epiphanies

Exhibition Dates: February 3 – April 20, 2024
Opening Reception: Saturday, March 2 from 6–8 pm
Gallery Location: 432 Julia Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
Hours: Tuesday–Saturday, 10 AM–5 PM
Contact Info: 504.522.1999;

The Arthur Roger Gallery is pleased to present Dragons, Dinosaurs, Divinations and Other Epiphanies, an exhibition of paintings by Nicole Charbonnet. The exhibition will be on view at the Arthur Roger Gallery located at 432 Julia Street, from February 3 – April 20, 2024. The gallery will host an opening reception with the artist in attendance, Saturday, March 2 from 6–8 pm.

In Charbonnet’s latest collection, Dragons, Dinosaurs, Divinations and Other Epiphanies the artist delves into the concept of monsters, drawing inspiration from the etymology of the word itself, which means “divine omen” and “to remind, bring to one’s recollection, advise, instruct, warn, teach.” Her paintings aim to capture the essence of moments that spark realizations, revelations, or epiphanies, reflecting on the various catalysts for such profound experiences.

Charbonnet skillfully appropriates imagery from pop culture and the arts, using text from sayings, songs, or poems, and incorporating images from films, cartoons, and well-known artists. The show features elements such as rabbits, turtles, and dinosaurs, sourced from Lee Ames’ iconic “How To Draw” series. These recognizable symbols are displayed alongside pieces like “Erased” which features scribbles that serve as quotations of abstract expressionism. These appropriated marks, figures, and patterns, serve to trigger a sense of recognition and nostalgia, fostering a unique conversation with the past while speaking to the current social, cultural, and political landscape. 

The artist’s exploration of memory is a central theme, as she considers how our minds create and shape memories, influencing our identity. The paintings act as visual palimpsests, resembling archeological excavations that chronicle preexisting stages. Charbonnet’s work provides a fascinating x-ray vision into the heart of creativity, challenging the notion of originality and emphasizing the transformative power of the interaction between art and viewer. Memory, as both source and subject, serves as a metaphor for remembering, highlighting the layers of thoughts and feelings that remain visible or obfuscated over time.

Art, according to Charbonnet, is a distillation of all aspects of our time—emotional, political, intellectual, and social. It serves as a language that shapes our present worldview and influences the future. In a recent essay about the US political climate, Timothy Snyder agrees about the power of symbols, “the symbols of today enable the reality of tomorrow.”

Born in New Orleans, Nicole Charbonnet received her B.A. from the University of Virginia and her M.F.A. from Boston University. She also studied in France at the Academic Goetz in Paris and the Cleveland Institute of Art’s school in Lacoste. She has exhibited nationally and internationally and received numerous honors and awards including grants from the Pollock-Krasner, Elizabeth Greenshields, and Art Matters Foundations. 

For more information please contact the Arthur Roger Gallery at 504.522.1999 or visit our website at