Boris Gorelik Discusses His Search for Tretchikoff’s Models (Plus: Preview of Incredible Tretchikoff)
Lindi Brownell Meiring from House and Leisure interviewed Boris Gorelik about his recently published book, Incredible Tretchikoff. Gorelik spoke about how he has spent years trying to find the women who Vladimir Tretchikoff used as the models for his paintings, “It’s a kind of a time machine. It takes you back to the source and gives another dimension to the familiar picture.”
Gorelik says that the book is not just a biography, but a book “about a pop icon painter, the times and the places he lived in and about mass-market art, sentimental pictures that people like to hang on their walls.”
You’ve spent years trying to uncover the identities of Tretchikoff’s models. What inspired you to begin this journey?
It is thought that good or great painters use the model’s face as a starting point, raw material of sorts. The resulting image may only remotely resemble the sitter. Tretchikoff’s Chinese Girl, (the ‘Green Lady’) isn’t simply a portrait of Monika Sing-lee, his Cape Town model. For starters, Monika didn’t have that green face! But I think it’s fascinating to discover whose face inspired the artist to create a famous image… and what happened to the sitter afterwards.
Gorelik has shared a preview of some of the pages from Incredible Tretchikoff on his website, Tretchikoff Revealed: