|Probably the most-recognized photo of Ilona Royce Smithkin is this iconic photo from the|
film Advanced Style, by Ari Seth Cohen and Lina Plioplyte, available on Prime Video.
|Ilona has performed around the world , as captured in this|
photo from an article about her in Passport magazine
Infact, she felt free enough to begin performing a sort of "cabaret" with a bit of song in the style of Marlene Dietrich, among others, along with wonderful stories from her very colorful life.
Such literary luminaries as Ayn Rand and Tennessee Williams had asked her to do their portraits. In fact, Ilona has sketched or painted portraits for many well-known actors and entertainers over the years, some of which are displayed at the Karilon Gallery in Provincetown, at 447 Commercial Street.
|Poster for the film Advanced Style|
In honor of Ilona's 100th, I also watched Ilona Upstairs again. It was made by Hammil, who became Ilona's neighbor when she moved into the apartment below the one where Ilona had lived and painted in the West Village section of New York City for, at that time, at least 60 winters.
Hammil had become fascinated by this small, relentlessly cheerful woman who maintained a real sense of joy in her life by holding at arm's length the horrible sadness of her earlier life. Click the link above to watch the movie for free on Vimeo.
See the terrific article and photos in the Passport magazine article titled Ilona Royce Smithkin: Artist, Writer, Chanteuse, Raconteur. Get to know Ilona a bit when you watch "I'm in love with life" - Advanced Style Icon Ilona Royce Smithkin on YouTube.
We in Provincetown have been enjoying Ilona's colorful style and infectious "joie de vivre" for many years, and we celebrate the wonderful occasion of her 100th Birthday!