Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Passion by Design

Forget Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan – I’d rather go back in time and spend quite a little while in Tamara de Lempicka’s studio. What paintings! What a life!

Born into the Polish aristocracy before the Great War and the Bolshevik Revolution as Maria Górska (5/16/1898-3/18/1980), she escaped from her divorced parents’ clutches and married, at eighteen, a lawyer in St. Petersburg. They relocated to Paris, Maria reinvented herself as Tamara, and she had Kizette, a daughter.

By the 1920s, Tamara emerged as an Art Deco star and ran with the bohemians, living a scandalously fun-filled lifestyle. She divorced her husband in 1928, moved on, continued painting, remarried and relocated to the USA just before World War II. Over time, she moved from Beverly Hills to New York City and, eventually, to Houston; she died in Mexico not long before her 82nd birthday.

Tamara de Lempicka was, in truth, much wilder and far more interesting than Mses. Hilton, Spears, or Lohan – and considerably more applied, I suspect.

Kizette De Lempicka-Foxhall and Charles Phillips, Passion by Design: The Art and Times of Tamara De Lempicka (1998).

Laura Claridge, Tamara de Lempicka: A Life of Deco and Decadence (1999).

Stephanie Penck, Tamara De Lempicka (2004).

Today's Rune: Breakthrough.

Birthdays: William H. Seward, Tamara de Lempicka (b. Maria Górska), Henry Fonda, Olga Fyodorovna Berggolts, Studs Terkel, Edward T. Hall, Juan Rulfo (b. Juan Nepomuceno Carlos Pérez-Rulfo Vizcaíno), Liberace (b. Wladziu Valentino Liberace), Adrienne Rich, Betty Carter (Flint, Detroit, b. Lillie Mae Jones), Robert Fripp, Debra Winger.

Na razie!


Lana said...

I hear you loud & clear! Modern Amerikan society is just a vapid cess-hole of nothingness. At least there was some SUBSTANCE back in the day!

the walking man said...

She sounds like an artist I would have been proud to handle and hang her work in the DIA when I worked there.

lana there is great substance to modern American society and more people would find it if they turned off their hero worship, televisions, PC's, stopped reading books for a bit, and simply walked outside and took the clay and got their hands dirty forming it.

Johnny Yen said...

Fascinating, as always.

Maybe I'm a grumpy old man, but today's celebrities seem so much less interesting than the old ones.

Laura said...

I am so sick of hearing about Paris Hilton going to jail on every newscast, like that's some kind of world news event or something! She is just a spoiled little rich kid that thinks that her daddy's money will fix everything. Maybe she'll finally learn a life lesson from this experience, but I highly doubt it.

JR's Thumbprints said...

There's nothing like backing up a certain lifestyle with talent.