Diary of an Ass Monkey (assmonkeydiary) wrote,
Diary of an Ass Monkey

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Kiki de Montparnasse

Kiki de Montparnasse (born Alice Prin) was a cabaret singer, expressionist painter, experimental film actress, and one of the most famous artist's models in history. Born to poverty, an illegitimate child, she rose to become one of the brightest stars in 1920s Paris, always outspoken and audacious, the undisputed queen of the Montparnasse social scene. She was highly regarded for her upbeat attitude, famously saying "all I need is an onion, a bit of bread, and a bottle of red; and I will always find somebody to offer me that." Her uninhibited nightclub performances in black garters and stockings were full of raunchy, crowd-pleasing songs. She began posing for dozens of artists, becoming the muse and lover of Man Ray throughout the twenties, during which time he made more than a hundred portraits of her. Banned in the United States until the late 1970s for explicit content, her autobiography is one of the essential texts of the period, documenting the bohemian lifestyle of Parisian artists like no one else could. She left Paris in 1940 to avoid the German occupation and never lived there again.

Here's a great photo of Kiki, probably taken by Julian Mandel.

Tags: best of 2009, model spotlight, wayback wednesdays

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