Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Birthday Diva: Black Beauty
She turns up in the damnedest places...
...in the Albertina Museum in Vienna, for example, in a drawing by Paul Klee of all people. It's perhaps the least characteristic Klee I can imagine, and while it bears the title "Negride Schonheit," I think it's pretty clear that it's today's birthday girl, the inimitable Miss Josephine Baker.
She stopped me dead in the gallery last March, her glance as insinuating in Klee's simple black lines as it likely was from the stage of La Revue nègre in 1925.
Photographically, around the same time, she was looking a great deal more sophisticated...
... to the point that here she seems to be auditioning for the role of Sally Bowles, forty years or so too early. Talk about your divine decadence...
As for me, I'm terribly fond of her later looks - as here, for example, where what she may have lost in gamine freshness, she's certainly more than made up in Total Goddess Attitude.
And she's 108 today, doubtless raising a little hell to mark the occasion, don't you think?