You’re in luck: we’ve got new, limited-edition Lisa Congdon art for the collecting. To roll out the red carpet for her tenth (!!) edition—the poppy, symbol-packed, fortune forecasting Bonne Chance—we reached out to Lisa’s good friend and fellow 20x200 artist Jen Hewett. In her intro, Jen decodes the bold, brightly-hued buoyancy of Lisa’s edition, making us all pine for some of the print’s hopeful exuberance in the process.
ICYMI, we’re hosting Lisa at our Dumbo HQ (48 John St, BK, NY 11201) this Wednesday 11/13 from 7:30-8:30pm, when she’ll be signing copies of her new book Find Your Artistic Voice. We’ll also have 11”x14” prints of Bonne Chance available for in-person ogling/purchase. Stop by if you’re in the area! Now, onto the art ...—Team 20x200
Thanks to seven years of French classes and six months in France, I know that “bonne chance” is French for “good luck.” True to its name, Lisa’s print contains lucky symbols—a four-leaf clover, fingers crossed, a rainbow—interspersed among other icons in Lisa’s signature bold, whimsical style. It is lightly reminiscent of Alexander Girard’s mid-century commercial work in Lisa’s modern, joyful palette.
Now “good luck” is a phrase that English speakers use with some frequency. Going to the DMV without an appointment to renew your driver’s license? Good luck! Trying to get last-minute, Friday night reservations at Zuni? Good luck! Meeting your partner’s family for the first time? Good luck!
But in French the meaning of “bonne chance” is a bit more nuanced. I remember from my French student days that it’s used almost as frequently as “bon courage,” which literally translates to “good courage,” but which has no English equivalent. I asked my cousin Emily, a French translator, to explain the difference between the two. She replied, “The difference is between a situation that’s tinged with dread and one that’s tinged with hope. Faced with uncertainty tinged with anxiety or dread, the French say ‘bon courage.’” Meeting your partner’s parents for the first time? Definitely a “bon courage” situation.
“But sometimes, when you’re in a delightful state of hopeful anticipation,” she continued, “say, trying to get those dinner reservations, or hoping to nab that perfect apartment you saw last week, your friends will wish you ‘bonne chance.’” Meeting someone you admire and follow online IRL for the first time to share a pitcher of margaritas? Now that calls for “bonne chance.” And that bonne chance maybe helped you and that someone become BFFs with a friendship that has endured for almost a decade.
This delightful, hopeful print is available in any (or all!) the sizes that 20x200 has to offer, making it a little easier to inject a bit more Bonne Chance into your everyday life.