On the 1st of March 1886 the great Austrian expressionist painter Oskar Kokoshka was born. Probably most famous for his picture ‘The Tempest’, that self-portrait expressing so much about his unrequited love for Alma Mahler, widow of the great composer Gustav Mahler. Alma had set Kokoshka the challenge to paint a masterpiece and only if he succeeded would she marry him. However, the very process of painting the ‘The Tempest’ seems to have contributed to their separation.
Kokoshka could not bear the loss of Alma so he had a lifesize doll made of his former lover. This doll he dressed and painted, took to the opera and out for dinner. Ultimately the Alma-doll was not able to satisy Kokoshka and during a party, specially organised for the event, he destroyed it.
I have tried to paint a number of expressionistic self-portraits and the one shown here is the latest. Painted at speed and Alla Prima to maximise the emotion and drive accident of expression rather than depict realism. Painted in a moment anger and sadness and completed within the hour.
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