Self-Portrait in The Green Buggatti - 1925
"Among a hundred paintings, you could recognize mine, my goal was:
Do not copy.
Create a new style, ... colors light and bright."
Independent women have always fascinated me. Bold and unprejudiced, particularly at a time when her role was confined to the backstage of science, art and politics. Stuart Mill gave us the kick-off in his book "The subjection of women" exposing, on the first half of the 19th century, the inconsequential ambiguities of assigning, to every women, a subordinate role in society.
For all these reasons Tamara de Lempicka (1898-1980) biography caught my attention. Born Maria Gorska from affluent society parents in Poland soon she moved to St. Petersburg, after her parents' divorce, to live with her aunt Stéphanie. When she was sixteen, she felt in love with a young lawyer, Tadeusz Lempicka, who she met one night at the opera. Although he was reputed as one of the most handsome bachelors in Warsaw, he really had no money of his own. Nevertheless, the wild Tamara soon decided that she was ready to be independent. Her uncle provided her a dowry and, at the age of 16, she got married in St. Petersburg, in a high fashion wedding, giving a few months later birth to her only child Kizette. Soon came the Bolsheviks revolution and the couple after some arrested odyssey fled to Paris, where she changed her name, starting a new life near the russian refugees.
|Portrait Madame Allan Bott - 1935|
With a keen critical sense, Tamara expressed her biding and demolished point of views, towards her contemporaries, with a total lack of prejudice and a sense of freedom which is clearly reflected in her painting as a pure expression of sex and power.
In her opinion, Picasso "embodied the novelty of destruction". About the Impressionists she thought that they drew badly and employed "dirty" colors.
Tamara had no scruples regarding her freedom of mind and soul, expressing her points of view without any tabus showing an indomitable character which placed her among the big stars of her time. Either on her life and on canvas her controversial views and her liberal approach to life signed unique ways of dealing with art and with her very own private life.
"Self-Portrait In the Green Buggatti" clearly express her sophisticated and independent style. Tamara de Lempicka, the Baroness of her own Art Deco movement, reflects on her self-depiction her strong personality. Inside her green car, she glances at the viewer before departing to her life in a very own distant and luxurious private style. Looking at her quick glance the observer can't help feeling some curiosity about all the mysteries that subtly hide beneath her way of living.
When World War II began, she and her husband moved to Hollywood, where she became a “painter to the stars”. She married a second time and, subsequently lived in Manhattan and Houston, Texas, before moving to Mexico where she ended up her days. According to her will, her ashes were spread on the top of the Popocatepetl volcano, the right place to rest for whom spent an explosive, rich, intense and tumultous life.
Her daughter Kizette sleeping - 1930