Carlos Duque (b. 1946) interviewed the artist Karen Lamassonne (b. 1954) and published the results in an article called “Karen Lamassonne: Cuando la pintura se mete al baño” [Karen Lamassonne: When Paint gets in the Bathroom], which provided a clear picture of her current artistic interests. At 29 years of age, the artist was exploring painting, printmaking, movies, and video art after having been a vocalist in Band-Aids, the rock band. The article is important because it records her decision to settle in Cali (1980-1989) and her work as artistic director on various movie projects that were produced in that city. She was involved in the film movement called Caliwood, at a time when the Colombian movie business was booming under the leadership of the cinematographers Carlos Mayolo (1945−2007) and Luis Ospina (b. 1949).
Lamassonne spent her childhood in New York and Bogotá; she returned to Colombia when she was 17 years old, as she was launching her artistic career. Her Baños [Baths] series, discussed in detail in the interview, was exhibited at the Galería del Club de Ejecutivos [Executive’s Club Gallery] in Cali (November 22−30, 1979). A few days after the opening, the show was censured by Enrique Holguín, the manager of Colseguros when, during a lecture, he asked that Lamassonne’s paintings be removed because “it was impossible to continue ‘if those obscenities’ (the paintings) were not taken down.” And that is what happened, according to Ospina in an article published under the pseudonym “Norma Desmond” in the Semanario [Weekly] supplement to the El Pueblo newspaper (Cali, November 25, 1979).
Lamassonne refers to the work that was shown at the VIII Salón Atenas [8th Atenas Salon], the event created in 1975 by the Museo de Arte in Bogotá as a stimulus for young artists. It consisted of three parts: 1) some of the drawings from the story-board for the movie Pura Sangre [Pure Blood] (1982); 2) the sequence of drawings called Veinticuatro cuadros por segundo [Twenty-four Frames per Second] that was based on paintings by Darío Morales (1944–1988), Santiago Cárdenas (b. 1937), Fernando Botero (b. 1932), and Lamassonne; and 3) the video art production Secretos delicados [Delicate Secrets], a collage of images based on Lamassonne’s dreams, childhood memories, and contributions from a cast of well-known artists in the city—Fernell Franco (1942–2006), Sandro Romero Rey (b. 1959), Carlos Mayolo, Hernando Tejada (1924–1998), and Eduardo Carvajal (b. 1949).