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ONE ON ONE 

Ming Wong on 

Vladimir Tretchikoff

The in-between lives of the “king of kitsch” and his most famous sitter

VLADIMIR TRETCHIKOFFChinese Girl, 1950, Oil on canvas, 76.2 x 66.5 cm. 

Courtesy the Tretchikoff Project, Cape Town.

He’s not written about in art history books, but he’s no stranger to connoisseurs of kitsch. His most famous painting, Chinese Girl (1950), is one of the most reproduced pictures in the world. Although practically unseen and unheard of in Asia, she once adorned millions of drab postwar homes in Britain, America, Canada and South Africa…

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