Tamara de lempicka

"There are no miracles. There is only what you make."

~ Tamara de Lempicka

Feature-Length Documentary

Currently in Production


Phone: 925.202.4890 Email: info@tamaradoc.com

ABOUT the film

The Untold Story of Tamara de Lempicka & The Art of Survival

Tamara is a visually stunning and sweeping feature documentary that traces the life and adventures of the renowned painter Tamara de Lempicka, from her rise to international stardom in 1920s Paris, to her move to the United States fleeing fascism in 1940, to her revival in the current art market.

De Lempicka was the preeminent Art Deco painter, known for her high-gloss sensual nudes and portraits of high society of the Jazz Age. She was a Polish aristocrat, infamous for her romantic liaisons with her models and her decadent lifestyle.

She disarmed the world’s elite with her vision, sex appeal, style, and charm, reinventing herself as a celebrity among celebrities in Hollywood of the 1940s, then again as a pillar of high society in New York, just as the art world power center shifted from Paris to the U.S.

The film follows this remarkable emigrée as she reinvents herself multiple times and attempts to claim her rightful place in art history. Although her work was undervalued and underappreciated in her final years, de Lempicka’s popularity soars today, 40 years after her death. In 2020 her work sold at auction for over $21 million, the second highest amount ever paid for any female painter.

Her most famous collector in the U.S. is Madonna, who may recognize in de Lempicka the original “material girl.” De Lempicka’s paintings give us a window into a life once lived at the center of Jazz Age international sophistication, elegance, and style, and what it meant to be a “Modern Woman” in those revolutionary times.

In the U.S. she worked diligently to maintain and grow the legendary status she had enjoyed in Europe, using the same strategies borrowed from the Hollywood star system: glamorous photos by famous photographers, courting the press, and hosting lavish parties. But the method that had served her so well in Paris of the Twenties backfired in post-war America, where she was ironically dubbed as “The Baroness with a Brush.”

Why did it take so long for the U.S. to understand what European art collectors and historians have known all along? The film attempts to unravel this mystery, and to celebrate the triumph of the human spirit as we discover the independent-minded collectors who single-handedly propelled her auction prices to record highs, and understood her value.

"I live life in the margins of society and the rules of normal society don’t apply to those who live on the fringe."

~ Tamara de Lempicka

<p>Tamara de Lempicka's <em>La Belle Rafaela</em>, painted in 1927, inspired Ellis Avery's novel <em>The Last Nude.</em> The art deco painter met Rafaela while on a walk in a Paris park. Rafaela became her model and her lover.<em></em></p>

"I was the first woman to paint cleanly, and that was the basis of my success."

~ Tamara de Lempicka


The tone of the production will embody the energy and excitement that represents de Lempicka’s glamorous persona. We will use 2D motion graphics and animation to transition in and out of paintings, interviews, archival footage, and reenactments, featuring rich colors and a fluid, driving momentum, underscored by music that is reflective, but not replicative, of the era.

The film will exude excitement, appeal, and spectacle; it will reflect the lifestyle and the aura of de Lempicka herself as she transitions and reinvents her own life. This approach will immerse the viewer in a fantastic painterly experience that reflects the sensuality and mood of de Lempicka’s work.

"The beginning doesn’t matter as long as there’s a good end."

~ Tamara de Lempicka