Barbara Carrera – best known for her role as the lethal assassin “Fatima Blush” in the 1983 James Bond movie Never Say Never Again – has launched a new website to promote her original and reproduction works of art.



[USPRwire, Fri Mar 12 2010] Internationally acclaimed actress and accomplished artist Barbara Carrera ??" best known for her role as the mesmerizing lethal assassin “Fatima Blush” in the 1983 James Bond movie Never Say Never Again ??" has launched a new website to promote her original and reproduction works of art, at www.barbaracarreraart.com. Several themed series are featured on the site.

These include Journey: An Odyssey, Hollywood Legends, Metamorphosis and Still Lifes. Most of the original works have already been sold, but some are still available. The giclees have been superbly executed in limited-edition runs of 200 works each, signed and numbered by the artist. The giclees come in varying sizes (24” x 30”, 18” x 24”, etc.) and generally range in price from about $400-$1,000 each.

Journey: An Odyssey is the most recent of the four collections. “The images in this series were inspired by my travels around the world and the many beautiful and interesting faces I saw,” Ms. Carrera said. “Some of the faces were etched in my mind, waiting to go on canvas, while others were taken from photographs I saw that made an impression on me. Still others came from my imagination.”

Barbara used many faces from around the world to create Journey: An Odyssey, but most of them are Asian. “I found their faces to be the most expressive,” she remarked. “Especially India. The eyes tell an ancient story. Their gaze is both deep and penetrating.” One image was adapted from the haunting photo of the 12-year-old Afghan girl, Sharbat, who graced the cover of National Geographic.

“Collectively, I’ve placed these people from around the world on a journey ??" an odyssey,” Ms. Carrera said. “In every painting, there’s a pathway that shows the subject coming or going somewhere. Most of the subjects are at the beginning of their journey. For Sharbat, I placed her journey in the dry and rocky mountains of her native Afghanistan -- a sharp contrast to her young and beautiful face.

“I was always an artist, long before I became an actress or a celebrity,” Ms. Carerra said from her home in Los Angeles. “I’d hate for people to think, ‘Oh, another celebrity trying to be an artist.’” Indeed, Ms. Carrera’s art has been showcased since the 1980s, at respected venues like Makk Galleries in Beverly Hills, Calif., the Roy Miles Gallery in London and the Hollywood Entertainment Museum.

The last of these, a two-month solo exhibition, showcased her Hollywood Legends collection, a series of larger-than-life portraits of 22 film icons. Many were inspired by Ms. Carerra’s personal associations with actors she worked with over the years, like Sean Connery (Never Say Never Again), Betty Davis (Wicked Stepmother), Paul Newman (When Time Ran Out), Sir Lawrence Olivier (Wild Geese), Burt Lancaster and Michael York (The Island of Dr. Moreau) and Peter O’Toole (Masada).

Other legends in the series include Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Greta Garbo, Charlie Chaplin, Anthony Quinn, James Dean, Gary Cooper, Cary Grant, Vivien Leigh (as Scarlett O’Hara) and Clark Gable (as Rhett Butler). The oil-on-canvas portraits took Ms. Carrera three years to complete and are sizable (most are 30” x 40”). All are available as signed giclees.

When she decided to undertake the Hollywood Legends series, Ms. Carrera was faced with a challenge common to many portrait artists. “I wanted to capture each subject’s inner beauty as well as their outer charisma,” she said. “In each instance, I strove to capture the soul through the eyes. Greta Garbo was my most resistant subject. She was almost mask-like, with eyes that didn’t reveal anything.”

After putting the portrait aside for along time, Barbara finally addressed her recalcitrant subject. “’Greta, I said, I’m going to paint you whether you like it or not, so you might as well cooperate.’” Again, using the eyes as the gateway to the soul, Ms. Carrera achieved her goal ??" capturing the mystery and allure of the great Garbo in as way that made her look alive and enigmatic, not detached and vacant.

In addition to portraits, Ms. Carrera also paints landscapes, still lifes and spiritually insightful images. She is dedicated to daily meditation and draws inspiration for her art from hours of quiet introspection. Her art embraces the cultural influences, landscapes and people of her life experiences and exotic film locations -- from India to Australia, China to Russia, Africa to South America (and the U.S.).

Barbara Carrera was born in Managua, Nicaragua, in 1951. Her father was a diplomat working at the American embassy in Managua. Her mother was a young Nicaraguan woman who just recently passed away. Barbara dropped her father’s name, Kingsbury, in favor of her mother’s maiden name when she embarked on a modeling career at age 17. Over the years, she would grace the covers of over 300 of the top fashion magazines, including Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle and others.

Before that, it was her father’s decision to send Barbara to a convent in the United States, at the tender age of 10. For five years she was schooled in Memphis, not to become a nun but for the value of what was seen as a superior education. Art was an interest, but music took up more of her study time. “I dabbled in watercolors then,” she said, “but I was committed to the piano, so painting was just a lark.”

She left the convent at age 15 with the intention of enrolling at the Sorbonne in Paris, but she never registered for school. “I resisted wanting to study,” she explained. “Even with art, I was interested in painting and working with oils, but I thought there were rules for mixing the colors so I was afraid of it. I also didn’t want to learn somebody else’s way. I wanted my art to emerge naturally -- out of me.”

It was an Indian guru who encouraged Barbara to finally set aside her fears and “just do it.” Her early efforts were raw and mystical. “I was mixing colors every which way, very indiscriminately,” she said. “Everything had a colorful, illustrative look. The Nautilus shell was a recurring theme.” The works were exhibited at a California gallery in a show titled Metamorphosis (one of the series on her website).

A second exhibition, an extension of the Metamorphosis show, was held at a gallery in London. Again, it was all quite mystical, but lucrative, too. Then a breakthrough came when Ms. Carrera met a man who did restorative art throughout Europe (mainly in Florence, Italy). “Most of what he restored was work by the Old Masters,” she said. “He explained they always worked from darkness to light.”

Fascinated by this revelation, Barbara decided then and there to dedicate herself to the Old Masters technique, fueled by the coincidence that the word “guru” is a paste-up of “gu” (meaning darkness) and “ru” (meaning light). “I started with the darkest tones, like sap green and grey, and worked outward toward light,” she said. To this day, the Old Master technique influences her work.

Barbara Carrera has traveled the world over, in the process mastering five languages. She is one of only a very few top models to successfully transition from the fashion pages to the silver screen. She has received several Golden Globe nominations and awards for her work in film. She is also the only actor to ever receive a Golden Globe nomination for a James Bond film (for Never Say Never Again).

In that movie, opposite Sean Connery, Ms. Carrera earned the title “the most beautiful Bond girl.” The movie critic Leonard Maltin once described her as “a feline, olive-skinned and almond-eyed ex-model whose cool dark looks make her ideally suited to play seductive villainesses or exotic damsels.” Her beauty ultimately thrust her into mostly ornamental roles in action and genre fare.

To learn more about Barbara Carrera and her artwork, or to purchase an original painting or a signed, numbered giclee print, please log on to www.barbaracarreraart.com.

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