Art Burn: Something's fishy at Nouveau Bistro
Every restaurant owner seems to fancy himself (or herself) an art expert these days, whether it's the Burger King franchisee with a taste for retro prints or the young, hip entrepreneur who decorates with bold abstract paintings. Each week, we'll be serving up a slice of the best -- and the worst -- local restaurant decor. Will these hand-picked paintings, sculptures and crafts be a feast for the eyes, or will they just leave you with Art Burn?
Chandler's semi-new Nouveau Bistro, in the P.F. Chang's shopping plaza in front of the Chandler Mall, clearly took a cue from local coffeehouses. Because, really, why buy tons of art outright when you can consign it for free? Or rather, for a profit.
If the painting sells, the restaurant gets a cut. And in the meantime, their walls aren't bare. Sweet deal!The downside's that the art isn't always fab, but Nouveau Bistro's eclectic selection is solid. The focal point is a series of whimsical "rock" paintings by Sharon Aebi [see photo above], which look like the Flintstones version of chess pieces (couldn't you totally see Fred and Barney playing with those?).
Across from the kitchen is a pair of passionate, orange and red-toned paintings by David Coven of CovenCreative. The eyes are haunting; the dripped paint technique lending an air of melancholy.
It's a moving piece, even if it's disconcerting to have a pair of huge peepers staring at you while you eat (especially when there's no mouth to tell you about the spinach in your teeth). Above the eyes is a larger work, with writhing abstract bodies in deep layers of burnt orange pigment -- like a modern dance club version of Dante's Inferno.
Half erotic, half creepy.