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Monday, February 15, 2016

"Art or not art, that is the question!"

During the 80's, Marisa Mell really started to hit rock bottom trying to earn money from her movie career. She was so desperate to tap into new income sources that she started to sing, with no success, and then tried her hands at fine art by making drawings! I knew of a self portrait she had made for an exhibition. I had never seen any other art work by her hands, so I was very pleased to receive recently a notice from a good friend in Brasil of an auction of her work on the internet. After checking out the auction site and the art work at hand, it had all the elements making this piece a Marisa Mell drawing. But the question remained: was this a genuine Marisa Mell or not?  

The drawing had her characteristic signature at the bottom which she used since the beginning of her career when she adopted her movie name "Marisa Mell" starting with a well formed "M" and ending with her typical writing of the double "L", even the numbers "8" and "5" are written in her own well known style, a signature that I have seen on dozens of autographed pictures by her hand. And this one was the real deal! 

Then there was the dedication "Für Nikos An Weihnachten 1985 Marisa". I knew that Marisa Mell had once a relationship with a much younger man called Nikos around that time, so that part of the drawing was also correct. And I had seen the drawing of a little heart in the vicinity of her name on countless other autograph cards, so that was also correct.

And finally what was the most convincing element of the drawing was the style of the art itself. It was completely in accordance with the style of her self portrait that I had seen before. So in the end counting all those elements I came to the conclusion that this drawing was the real deal. A piece of art made by Marisa Mell.

And do I like it? Yes and no! Yes, because I like the quirkiness of  the style which is very raw and elemental, even aggressive. No, because I feel no connection to it on an emotional level. Nevertheless I am glad that this piece of art still exists today and is still worthy to be sold in an auction by an auction house. I think that Marisa Mell would have smiled when she knew about this.
Thanks to Daniel from Brasil for his help in finding this little gem!

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