Bettie Meets Congresswoman Bella Abzug A Miller Ringma Hoppe Collaboration

Paul Tschinkel videotaping Bettie Ringma with Bella Abzug in front of the painting.
Paul Tschinkel videotaping Bettie Ringma with Bella Abzug in front of the painting.
Bettie and Curt Hoppe present Bella Abzug with a large photograph signed by Miller, Ringma & Hoppe.
Bettie and Curt Hoppe present Bella Abzug with a large photograph signed by Miller, Ringma & Hoppe.
Bettie, Bella Abzug, Curt, and Marc H. Miller
Bettie, Bella Abzug, Curt, and Marc H. Miller
Bella Abzug signing the photographs.
Bella Abzug signing the photographs.
Bella Abzug signing the painting.
Bella Abzug signing the painting.
Signed Bettie & Bella Abzug painting
Signed Bettie & Bella Abzug painting

Bella Abzug Signs The Painting
Greenwich Village, NY, May, 1979

Video by Paul Tschinkel

"Bettie and Congresswoman Bella Abzug" was the last of the Paparazzi Self-Portraits by the Miller Ringma Hoppe team. Bettie wanted the painting series to include a woman celebrity and after much debate the three of us decided to use a photograph of Bettie with Bella Abzug, taken when the popular congresswoman was campaigning for Senator in 1976. At a time when there were few women in politics, Bella attracted attention for her hats and for blunt speech that made her a strong advocate for women and the working class. For the signing, the busy Abzug arranged for us to bring the painting to a Greenwich Village nightclub where she was hosting a fund-raiser. While our other subjects had clearly been wowed by Curt’s painting skills, the outspoken Bella was not particularly flattered by her portrait, making for a lively signing session captured on video by Paul Tschinkel. Eager to move on to more serious business, Bella complimented our project, and then made a quick exit refusing to give Curt a farewell kiss!