ELKE SOMMER one of the most exciting exports from Germany for many a moon
is unquestionably talented and vivacious. With over 50 motion pictures
to her credit, she has been painting since childhood. She has major exhibitions
in Rome, Munich, Beverly Hills, Hollywood and Chicago. Hans Engel, famous
German artist and critic,
has this to say about her work. "Miss Sommer has an incredible ability to choose her themes which she applies with an individual style which gives her a most valuable and unique identity. Had I not known the artist, I would have thought I was looking at the efforts of a gifted pupil of Goya. I'm highly impressed with her style and predict she will play a major part in the art world it she so desires." "I would rather be known as an artist who acts". says Miss Sommer, "than an actress who paints".
At home, Sommer discusses her dual careers as artist and actress with Perkins. fluent in most European languages and speaks English rapidly. Our interview began while Jack Perkins of NBC News and "Prime Time" was taping a segment to be aired this fall. The first session was in Sommer and husband Joe Hyams' Beverly Hills home.
The home is comfortable, but modest by Beverly Hills' standards. The camera and lights threw an odd perspective on the furnishings-a massive collection of pewter plates, pewter, late gothic carvings, bits of sentimentality, somber paintings and fresh flowers. Sommer explains that, with only a little formal training, she began painting for herself, to fill wall with color. And she still enjoys it.
"I really like my painting." "I am really closest to me being myself with paint. I paint anyplace. When I am at home I paint outside, in the nude, for up to eight hours at a stretch. I paint with acrylics, so when I'm finished I just jump in the pool." Sommer has a very private yard and pool.
When asked about the wedding theme in many of paintings she explains, "I was married in a black wig in a private ceremony because, at the time, it was necessary," referring to a need to avoid publicity for her husband's sake. She speculates that the privacy and perhaps lack of festive, shared joy seen in a large wedding motivates her to spend so much energy on weddings. She also identifies with ethnic groups and finds the variations in weddings intriguing. "The Wedding Bath," an original sflk screen print published in an edition of 325 and retailing for $900, for instance, is motivated by a folk tale.
. "'The Wedding Bath' is a true story. A very rich farmer had two kids. One boy was very much in love with a very Above, "Night Visions" is distinctively Sommer, but contrasts sharply in mood with "The Wedding" below. simple girl. But the farmer wanted him to marry somebody with money." Apparently the boy was headstrong.
"After a time he went over to the village," Sommer said, 46 and she was washing in the pond and was so flabbergasted at seeing him that the only thing she could say was 'How much are the eggs in your hand?' The only thing she could say, a true story. "Anyway, that's why he's holding the eggs-a portent of what comes later, right?" Article concludes at end of page.
s/n Limited to 325 unless noted. Pencil signed by Elke.
1. The 1st lithograph at the top of the page "The Wedding" is the largest 22"X29" and most popular litho. . Price $1200 Bid Price $800 Sold
" Wedding Bath " A preacher or holy person is administering a religious
rite to a young girl. She discusses this in the above article. 21x 27 . $950
Bid Price $750.00
"The Beach" 22x 22 APPROX $1000
Bid price $8004.
" Fiddler and Flute" A cat and dog lounge in the tree with the musicians.
21x27 APPROX $1100
Bid Price $8005.
" Ice Skating on the River" Beautiful blue colors! 22 x 26 APPROX. $950
Bid Price $750
6. "Folk Dancers" 25"x 20" $975
Bid Price $675.007. "Skates and Sleds" $950 Checkered
blankets keep everyone warm. 21x26 APPROX .Bid. Price $650
8. "Lovers" $900 One of Elke's
favorites! 20X 26
APPROX BID PRICE $7009. "Umbrella Wedding" A signed
art print. Lower quality print; not a lithograph. $325
10." Floating Donkey" $850 20X26 approx Bid Price $750
At The Beach $800 Fiddler and Flute $800
Ice Skating on the River $750 Folk Dancers $775
Skates and Sleds $750 Lovers $700
Umbrella Wedding $325 Floating Donkey $750
Click for larger photo SOLD
At home before cameras, Sommer illustrated a point with descriptive hand
gestures. Village boys came in the water after me with polished shoes on."
Someone suggests that the boys were none too bright. And Sommer responds,
"It's not dumb. It is passionate."
During the taping the conversation somehow turned, abruptly, to the cost and placement of paintings. "If people want to pay it (these prices), that's great-I get a very small amount. I feel still a little unworthy even though I paint so long."
of Elke Sommer!
Elke and Ed Weston
Elke and Towel
Elke and Dean Martin
Elke and Hugh O'Brian