Back in 2017, I met an artist that survived the holocaust. As you can imagine, I had to find out more about this artist. Her name is Marianne R. Klein. Her art was cheery, quite colorful and lively, which was bewildering to me. At that point in my life I was writing for many publications (print & online), and I pitched the Argonaut Newspaper to do an interview with the artist…here is a snippet of the intro – CLICK HERE to read the entire interview
Marianne R. Klein paints images that are full of life. In “Honeymoon,” a sunburst-yellow bride and blue-green groom embrace on a balcony overlooking a swirl of fall colors. In “Forest Fairy,” a translucent feminine figure is haloed by a golden moon that showers metallic flakes of magic onto her fingers and hair. In “Mikado,” three wispy blondes dance in a swirl of red, yellow and blue — a crimson-haired figure embracing them from behind like a mother would her daughters.
Such vivid, joyful scenes of vibrant color speak to a heightened sense of human emotion that Klein inherited as a survivor of the Holocaust. A native of Budapest, she was hen her mother’s death and father’s removal to Bergen-Belsen left her an orphan. At 13 she feigned death to escape a shower of Nazi bullets fired upon refugees in a safe house where she took shelter — one of the horrors she recounts in her 2011 memoir, “All the Pretty Shoes.”
After fleeing to recently liberated Paris and then Canada, Klein made her way to Santa Monica in the late 1970s and has lived here ever since.
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