Emily Eugenia "Nemi" Frost
EMILY EUGENIA “NEMI” FROST, a former Santa Barbara resident, died peacefully in her sleep on 30 June after a short illness. She was 86. Nemi was born in New York City and moved with her family to Palo Alto when she was six. In 1953 she moved to Santa Barbara, joining her mother, Eugenia Frost. After her formal education Nemi studied dramatic arts but eventually discovered that her real talents lay in painting. In early works her quirky realism and anecdotal treatment of unusual individuals and their surroundings will remind one of Modigliani or Klimt, particularly in the intricate treatment of fabrics and backgrounds. Her portrait of Truman Capote so charmed the writer that he demanded it on the spot. After moving to San Francisco, Nemi began to concentrate on smaller works, some painted on glass.
In San Francisco in the fifties, Nemi gravitated naturally to the poets and writers of North Beach. Her close friends included Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, and Gary Snyder. Over the years she had numerous showings at galleries in the city and a moderate commercial success. But she often complained that she could never part with her favorite paintings. As a result she leaves a houseful of fifty years’ worth of her most striking works.
Nemi was married briefly to Jurgen Hansen, a well known Santa Barbara artist, but never remarried. She leaves brothers Frank and Robin Frost, of Santa Barbara, and numerous close friends in San Francisco.