Hervé Télémaque

Vogue 2019

Billie Holiday (1915-1959)

By Hervé Télémaque (Port-au-Prince, 1937)

Charcoal and wax pencil on tracing paper and acrylic

« Choosing Billie Holiday was a chance to go back in time. The charcoal and its simplicity corresponded to this effort to rediscover the melancholic quality of jazz singers. »

Nicknamed Lady Day, Billie Holiday marks the history of jazz with her piece 'Strange Fruit', which denounces the lynchings of African-Americans in the United States, and is a reference to the black bodies hanging from trees in Georgia and Alabama. Openly homosexual, she becomes a figure in the evolution of the place of women and black women in 20th century society.