“Consciousness is the prize of life,” declares Lita Albuquerque, the environmental artist, sculptor, painter, mother-of-two, one of the coolest 68-year-old in the cosmos, and the star of this month’s Closet. When we featured Lita’s daughter, dancer Jasmine Croissant, she described her mom as a “wildcat who just down-poured love” — the kind of woman we had to have as a part of SLU. Lita, with All Saints as her uniform and Plato on her mind, is an ageless life-lover who’s as dreamy as her maze-like home that sits high up on the Malibu canyons, a natural utopia that reflects her wide-open, celestial spirit to a T.
Being a mother-daughter team ourselves, we love to see mothers who have a positive impact on their daughters (i.e. teaching them to be individuals, nonconformists, and thinking), and we can totally see the renegade thread that connects Jasmine to Lita to Lita’s own mother, a French playwright who, at the age of 20, staged her own play in Paris, which she wrote under a man’s name. A member of Paris’ underground lesbian scene with Colette’s daughter, Lita’s mom was set on going to Hollywood, and, on her way, she fell in love with with the wife of a Brazilian diamond-dealer, and the husband fell in love with her. “The three of them lived together for five years, out of which my brother and I were born,” explains Lita.
“I grew up near a seaport in Tunis, and I always thought that my dad would arrive on one of the ships that came in. I’d write poetry about him and make boat pieces about him,” Lita explains. “My art comes out of the presence of my father’s absence, which was enormous in my life.” Her longing for recovering lost connections is the foundation for her globe-spanning, site-specific work. Believing that bees carry our souls back to the stars from which they came, Lita has made majestic honeycomb patterns in front of the Egyptian pyramids and installed 99 spheres, each one corresponding to a specific star, in Antarctica. “I love saying that heaven is looking at you,” Lita told us. “It’s the other — we look at each other and we recognize the incredible beauty, and you just want to die, you just want to dive in.”
Elisa + Lily
Follow Lita on Instagram: @litaalbuquerque
Her video was edited by Paul O'Brotcha and shot by Andrea Cruz
She was interviewed and photographed by Elisa Goodkind