March 4, 2010
This painting of mine is based on the Man Ray photo of Kiki de Montparnasse, Parisian muse, model and general gal about town. She helped define the liberated culture of Paris in the 20's.
A fixture of Montparnasse's social scene, Kiki was a popular artists' model posing for Soutine, Foujita, Francis Picabia, Jean Cocteau and Alexander Calder to name a few. She was the companion of Man Ray who created many well-known images of her. (think "cello")
The book Kiki's Paris, Artists and Lovers 1900-1930 is my "Desert Island" book. The book is a bible; a veritable encylopedia of who was active in Montparnasse in the 20's. Picasso, the Steins, Matisse, Modigliani and Hemingway were all within Kiki's orbit. Published in 1989, biographers Billy Klüver and Julie Martin called Kiki "one of the century's first truly independent women."
In my rendition of Kiki I simplied the details and of course added some colours. I could imagine her in burgundies and golds. I corrected her wardrobe malfunction.