Fever - What a Lovely Way To Burn by Marsha Hammel


Fever - What a Lovely Way To Burn


Marsha Hammel

Ref SPG1653
Type Print
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Memory is a fertile field for the artist. An impression made in childhood can emerge decades later in a fresh and vibrant new form. The painting “Fever-What a Lovely Way to Burn” is an example of that phenomenon. During the early sixties the artist Marsha Hammel lived near Taranto, Italy while her father was attached to NATO building radio towers. He was an avid fan of popular jazz and played the latest LPs by Frank Sinatra, Louie Prima and Keeley Smith, Peggy Lee and Dino on his oversized Hi-Fi. The young Marsha Hammel became familiar with them all, studying the images on the album covers and making drawings to illustrate the songs. The movie theater on the military base nearby was a source of American poplar culture that the family enjoyed almost weekly. A Hollywood movie that featured a nightclub scene brought to life the glamorous imagery of the popular jazz of that era. The name of the film itself is lost to memory but the image of the fabulous Julie London singing the song made famous by Peggy Lee, “Fever”, is unforgettable. The Technicolor set was lit with red and yellow, the singer wore a sparkling red gown and diamond earrings glittered through her cascade of auburn hair, shadowing one eye. She growled and purred the lyrics, turning slowly toward the audience. Ms Hammel has said that the images in that movie of fifty years ago has influenced her iconic divas; in this painting she has captured the colors, hot and sensuous, the stage full of musicians but all eyes on the singer and her intention on her audience. Most people today have no idea who Julie London was or that she was a true jazz diva in every sense. This painting is dedicated to her, a great artist; an inspiration worth remembering.