Written by Aspen Business Connect member Scott Mullens
Scott: Marisa, I understand you took over your Great Grandmother, Tamara De Lempicka’s estate. That she was a very famous European painter – and in fact to this day her paintings command the third highest prices in the world for a female painter, following only Georgia O’Keefe and Frida Kahlo.
Can you share with us a bit more about your Great Grandmother’s importance in the art world, and why you decided to focus on managing her estate?
Marisa: Absolutely! Tamara is best known for her art deco stylized paintings. She created her own style based on the fashions of the day, which was the 1920’s in Paris. Her images are extremely recognized today. The issue with Tamara, especially in the US, is that people have seen her art because it is so unique, iconic, and attractive, but they don’t know who she is and know nothing about her life story. I took over the estate because I’m trying to change that fact. She should be as well-known as Picasso or Frida Kahlo. That’s one of the reasons I am focused on managing her estate; to bring the recognition to her work and name which she deserves. I am the last of the family since Tamara only had one daughter, so I feel it is my mission to carry on her legacy and promote her art and life story because her life story is quite inspiring. A story of resilience, hard work, going after your dreams, and eventually succeeding in creating something timeless.
Scott: What are you working on currently with regard to the estate? What’s keeping you busy?
Marisa: It’s an extremely exciting time for Female artists right now, especially because women have pretty much been excluded in the past. There is a re-evaluation of all the classic art canons and Tamara is such an important figure. Currently, we’re working on a feature film about her life with award-winning producers, writers, and music producers.
Martin Brown, well known for his production of Moulin Rouge, is one of the producers, Sir Tim Rice who wrote the score of Evita is writing the musical score, and John Colley who won awards for Hotel Mumbai and Master and Commander is one of the producers.
All of these people are collaborating on the movie about Tamara which should be coming out in the next one to one and a half years. We are currently collecting financing and finalizing the script. We’re also working on an upcoming exhibition at the Fine Art Museum of San Francisco in 2024 which will be a retrospective, solo exhibit for Tamara, and the exhibition will then travel to the Houston Fine Arts Museum.
In 2023 we’re collaborating with a musical called Lempicka the musical which is on its way to Broadway after its success at the La Jolla music festival. And we have our line of merchandising for all these events! We license products with her images including silk scarves, posters, and more. All of this is keeping me quite busy!
Scott: Can you share with us what prompted you to join Aspen Business Connect?
Marisa: Well, I work from home and travel internationally to attend these events – exhibitions, book openings, and more, but working from home can get a little lonely. So I felt that in joining Aspen Business Connect I could meet other local entrepreneurs. What I love about joining the meetings is that you always get new ideas. Talking about other people’s projects gives me new ideas. It’s a real exchange of energy and I like that.
Scott: How can members of Aspen Business Connect help support you?
Marisa: I truly welcome any kind of input, ideas, connections to the art world, to the financing of movies. It’s really all about connections and the more people you know, the more successful you are. I’m so appreciative of the connections I’ve made in our community and look forward to building many more!