While he's regarded today as one of the most famous and revolutionary painters in history, Claude Monet was rejected often throughout his youth by the Salon, France's state-sponsored art gallery. Monet: The Early Years features the works of a young emerging artist, whose experimentations with light and form were not always accepted by the art community at large.
For this two-part series, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco spoke with two artists in the Bay Area about their most memorable rejections, and the paths that unfolded after their early setbacks. The portrait of a struggling artist is no cliche, but the story of success is always unique.
Ballerina Jahna Frantziskonis is performing in her second season at the SF Ballet, and will be dancing as a soloist in their upcoming production of the Nutcracker. Before she landed the position with SF Ballet, she fought to gain recognition in dance programs. She recalled a time when she was invited to a five-week intensive dance program over the summer: "I was excited because I thought it meant they liked me. I went, and they pretty much ignored me the whole summer. I got no corrections, no advice, nothing. I spent all this time and investment....I remember first just being so upset. Especially when you use your body as instrument, and you're exerting all your energy into what you're doing, by the time you're dismissed and ignored, you have no energy to pump yourself back up."