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The Roaring Twenties 15/06/2012-15/07/2012

Feathers Day

Portraits of the roaring twenties During the  twenties,  Paris  was  one  of  the  most  attractive  cities  for  the  arts.  Many  great  artists   lived  in  the  French  capital  such  as  the  famous  American  writer  Henry  Miller,  the  trumpeter   Arthur  Briggs,  the  great  painters  Tsuguharu,  Fujita,  Soutine,  Pascin,  Leger,  Pablo  Picasso,   Henri  Matisse  and  Nina  Hammett;  not  to  forget  also  the  great  Alice  Ernestine  Prin  who   became  the  international  muse  "Kiki  of  Montparnasse". Writers from the "Lost Generation" also settled in the capital, including Scott Fitzgerald, Henry Miller and Ernest Hemingway who spent time with exiles fleeing dictatorships in the Mediterranean and Balkans. The painters formed what was later called the "Paris School" known for, among other things, the Lithuanian Soutine, the Italian Modigliani and the Russian Chagall. Gertrude Stein introduced the work of works of Hemingway and Scott Fitzgerald to Picasso, Braque and Matisse. Paris became the capital of the arts and the pre-eminent meeting place for artists and intellectuals of the time.

Portraits Young fashion took off during the 'Roaring Twenties' - from the end of the First World War in 1918 until 1929, the beginning of the economic and social crisis. Beyond the specific style of the 1920s, the phenomenon of 'garçonne' ('boyish') fashion and appearance made its debut, born of the emancipation of women and their claim for gender equality. This was a cultural revolution in female identity, announcing the arrival of contemporary woman. Radical hair-styles, especially short hair, permeated society. In terms of physique and comportment, between 1910 and 1920 a radical change in silhouette occured - twentieth century beauty became characterized by longer lines, lighter gestures, bared legs and a desire for height. Women suddenly seemed to get taller. Fashion got into full swing. Valerie Won Lee, French of Korean origin, presents her vision of figurative abstract art of the twenties in the 21st century.

the Roaring Twenties Almost a century after the 1920's and as the year 2020 approaches, the 'Roaring Twenties' remain etched in our memory. Artistic trends herald recurring economic and social issues; new capital cities have become popular, fashion and technology are in full swing that enable a new artistic solidarity and the birth of a new wave of figurative art.

Twenties Party

Pointy Hat (Jakarta)

Twenties Haircut



“Valerie Won Lee’s striking art is markedly abstract figurative in style.” The prevailing mood is one of futurism, making striking use of connecting lines, form, colour and montage. Political and social themes hover in the background but never predominate. Instead, the viewer is invited to come into Won Lee’s vision, often a dreamscape or the stuff of nightmare, through a montage of messages on every canvas. Her fusion of Asian and worldwide influences and values produces portraits replete with sadness, arrogance, sassiness and even cruelty. Giving her work on occasion something akin to a gangster-like quality. The eyes of her characters, for the most part women, convey powerful passions and sometimes anger. Frames, windows, stars, planets and rain punctuate the main subject in many of Won Lee’s paintings. Checkerboards reflect her feeling that life can be like a chess game, that strategy wins through – amounting to what could be termed “chess-art” in some of her work. The dark motif that underlines much of Won Lee’s work is not an absolute. Her art is a constant journey and evolution following the vision of an artist who is very much of the modern world yet who makes connections with humanity’s history. In the end, salvation from the traps that surround us is in the hands of us all. Art is a powerful inspirer of change; Won Lee’s contribution to this is, and will be, significant. In her words “Creating is breaking the rules” BIOGRAPHY Valerie Won Lee’s art springs from the well of her experience. Adopted at an early age, an Asian growing up in an old European country, Won Lee found herself adapting to the new culture into which she was thrown yet always retaining a link to the culture from which she had been separated. Entirely self-taught, art has been a lifelong journey for her. Experimentation is at the heart of her art, as in her life. For fifteen years she travelled independently worldwide, inspiring a passionate political, social and cultural agenda for her life and work. One experience in particular was seminal – teaching children living in the garbage dump of Guatemala City and then at the “Refugio de La Paz” in El Salvador. Valerie Won Lee’ s work is a journey through cultures, classes and her vision of the world. In this, it mirrors her own life.


Tribute to Amy Whinehouse (Black & White Collection-Catalogue) Click on the link below to view catalogue: magazine_black_and_white__pdf_

LATEST WORK “Umbrella fight”


V.W.L Magazine (Summer 2012)  
V.W.L Magazine (Summer 2012)  

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