O/C, 51”X48”, trapezoid
Egypt was still on high-alert from the Yom Kippur War with Israel when we arrived in Cairo… Egypt is a classic exotic destination best absorbed through emersion… So… after several days in Cairo and riding camels to the Great Pyramids of Giza, we hired the car and driver required to travel north to the Mediterranean and the militarily strategic costal city of Alexandria.
“ALEXANDRIA”, the title of this just completed oil painting, refers to the Egyptian metropolis founded by Alexander the Great in 331 BC… Alexandria is also where Cleopatra was born, died, and is entombed… So much of Karen’s visual persona can be connected to the eternal exotic influences of ancient Egypt and Cleopatra, its 1st century BC queen… More than once journalists attempting to describe Karen stated she had “Cleopatra eyes”… This is not the 1st time I painted Cleopatra… “FAME, HONOR and the LOVE of a WOMAN”… the large irregular shaped watercolor on multiple pieces of Arches paper was executed while we journeyed from Amsterdam to Cologne. At that time I painted the lifeless reclining Queen of the Nile after she (Cleopatra) took her life using a poisonous asp…
In this just completed oil painting, Karen enters a state of ecstasy as two red snakes caress her slender body. The spirit and spell of Cleopatra endured all the while we were in Egypt and still today…. Tony Barone
O/C, 51”X48”, trapezoid
Unless one is Tarzan, one must tour Kenya using well organized guides who move efficiently from game parks laden with zebras, giraffes, wildebeest, and gazelle … to… luxury British empire hotels with late afternoon gin & tonic cocktails on the veranda musing over Mount Kilimanjaro shimmering in a warm burnished ochre of heat rising from the East African terrain…. Include overnight stays at William Holden’s Mount Kenya Safari Club and the world famous Tree Tops, which accommodates it’s limited number of guest in a 3 level wood crafted structure built in the limbs of trees adjacent to a watering hole for elephants, waterbucks, warthogs, and African buffaloes. …and known for one of its most famous visitors – Queen Elizabeth. The night Princess Elizabeth spent at Treetops is also the day she rose to the throne as Queen. Her father King George VI had passed away during her Commonwealth tour in Kenya…. From there off to villages to mingle with toweringly tall, spear touting, lion hunting, Maasai warriors draped in explosive colored fabrics and covered in beaded leather jewelry stacked high around their necks, wrists and ankles… Karen returned with tons of design concept & color palette ideas … I returned with Karen whose soul had absorbed Kenya …. we both absorbed a hunger for more adventure.
2021#5, O/C, 51”X48” Trapezoid
“WE’LL ALWAYS HAVE PARIS”
One of the most memorable lines in film comes from the 1942 classic Casablanca, when ex-pat Rick (Humphrey Bogart) tells his former lover Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) “We’ll always have Paris” referring to their brief romance the eve of World War II—a courtship ended with the Nazi invasion of France.
Karen and I visited France frequently and each trip was romantic & indelible. This painting titled “PARIS” recalls a particular adventure to “The City of Light”, La Ville Lumière, when Karen & I had a private meeting with Christian Lacroix, “Paris-fashion-bad-boy”, in his Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré atelier. The president of Dior in New York had just licensed “Lacroix” in the category of cosmetics & fragrance. Our friend Mary Hamilton, then head of Armani, S.F. and the worldwide fashionista of fashionistas, introduced us to the head of Dior. The purpose of the rendezvous with Lacroix was to have us create/design/sculpt the bottles and packaging for the forthcoming Christian Lacroix fragrance line – “Lacroix-sweetie-Lacroix” ….Tony Barone