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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Kiki de Montparnasse

The past week I've been sick in bed, which is not fun.  The upside was that I finally had the time to read the books that I had stockpiled for such an occasion (and watch the boyfriend scurry about getting me hot lemony drinks).

A new addition to the pile, which arrived on my doorstep this week, was the graphic biography of Kiki de Montparnasse, the model, muse, artist, actress, drug addict, cabaret singer, prototypical scenester and general inspiration to large-nosed women everywhere.  I'm starting to love the graphic biography genre, because it appeals to both the comic book nerd and the history nerd that hold an uneasy truce inside my brain.

This book, by Catel and Bousquet, is a joy to read.  For the first time in years, the minute I finished the book, I went back to the first page and started to read it again.  Here she is as she appeared in the book.
Illustration by Catel for Self-Made Hero
 And here's some real-life Kiki.

Kiki in Man Ray's 'Emak Bakia' (source)
 Kiki was Man Ray's long-standing muse until the arrival of Lee Miller.

Violon d'Ingres by Man Ray
Nu Couche a la Toile de Jouy by Tsuguharu Foujita
Kiki de Montparnasse by Pablo Gargulo

Kiki with Accordionist by Brassai

“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.” - Alice Prin (Kiki de Montparnasse)