Kizette in Pink
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Kizette in Pink seems pretty sweet, but the central mother-daughter duo didn’t have the picture perfect relationship you’d find in a sitcom.

Tamara de Lempicka often painted her daughter Marie Christine, who went by Kizette. Don’t be fooled— despite the portraiture, being de Lempicka’s daughter wasn’t all rainbows and sunshine. For one thing, Kizette detested these portrait sittings. Hey, we can’t all be the agreeable families of a Cassatt painting!

Tamara sent her daughter to live at her grandmother’s house and at various boarding schools. As a result, she rarely saw Kizette. Many of the artist’s friends thought she was childless, a misconception Tamara made no effort to contradict. Instead, Tamara announced that her only children were her artworks. As inspirational as this proclamation seems, don’t use it as an Instagram caption just yet. Kizette was very much alive and well, making the whole sentiment bogus and frankly, pretty mean.

When Kizette visited her mother, the lies continued. Tamara made Kizette out to be her younger sister when they hit the town. This deception killed two birds with one stone: Tamara managed to appear more youthful and damage her daughter’s self-esteem in one go! Malvina, de Lempicka’s mother and Kizette’s acting guardian, had had enough. After Tamara decided not to visit her mother and daughter for Christmas one year, Malvina set all of Tamara’s expensive hats ablaze. Petty, but efficient. You go, grandma.

De Lempicka’s influence is undeniable; she’s a personal favorite of Barbra Streisand and Jack Nicholson, and, like Remedios Varo and Leonora Carrington, she inspired a Madonna music video. Even Beyoncé wore outfits on her world tour that drew from de Lempicka’s works. Unfortunately, being a global trendsetter and sensation in Hollywood doesn’t make parenting any easier.

Comparisons are made between Kizette in Pink and the baby Jesus of Theotokos of Tikhvin, a 1300 Madonna and Child. The parallel would indicate an additional connection between de Lempicka herself, as Kizette’s mother, and the Virgin Mary. Overall, the theory is unsound: the similarities are chalked up to Jesus’s bent legs resembling Kizette’s. Seems like a case of two human bodies bending like human bodies do. Can’t a kid curl up and read a book without being compared to the Messiah?  



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