Photo by Tim Porter

Nina Simone chooses Sausalito Artist Georgette L. Osserman


For the first time in a stellar career that spans forty years, Nina Simone has decided to use fine art to represent her music. Sausalito Artist Georgette Osserman has been chosen by the international recording artist to supply the cover artwork for her re-release of Nina’s Back, her only pop album. Ms. Simone saw the artists’ painting when her San Francisco attorney Steven Ames Brown showed her an invitation with the image on it. Taken with what she saw as an uncanny likeness to her own face she asked her English record company, Charly, to use the painting on the upcoming release. Although they had always relied on photographs before, the painting so impressed them that they agreed to use it for the cover and also decided to press the image onto the disc itself. The album includes some wonderful standards like I loves You Porgy, and It’s Cold Out Here.

The painting Ms. Osserman provided is titled ‘Ego with Id following Close Behind’ It is 48” x 60” oil, wax, and sand on canvas. The subject is two figures in a landscape. Georgette Osserman is known for her vividly colorful, psychologically powerful figurative works. An alumnus of the San Francisco Art Institute, she has been painting and teaching art in the Bay Area for fourteen years. She is collected both nationally, and internationally. Nina Simone, and the executives at Charly records felt that this painting resonated with the feeling of Ninas’ personality. When asked for a comment Ms. Osserman said: “This is a composition about the power of the personality. Dr. Simone is a wonderful independent spirit whose work is original, and has stood the test of time. The artists at Charly records produced a beautiful reproduction and I am very honored to have been chosen. The best part was being invited to her concert, and then going back stage to meet her. People talk about a voice as an instrument, so resonant is Nina Simones’ voice that when she said my name the hairs on the back of my neck stood up.”

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