Now appearing in English translation for the first time, these are the bold and sassy memoirs of the model who became the reigning queen of 1920s Paris - featuring many unpublished Man Ray photographs. A love child, she was born in Burgundy in 1901 and christened Alice Prin. Raised by her grandmother in dire poverty, she made meals of vegetables thieved from neighbors' gardens and snails lured from hiding by summer showers. At twelve, she was shipped off to Paris to live with the mother she had never known. Her fierce survival instincts immediately translated into a precocious thirst for experience. Soon she discovered the power of artificial geraniums to rouge her cheeks and mouth, and at fourteen she had her first contact with art when she began posing nude for a sculptor. Thereafter, she embraced life as the irrepressible Kiki, lover of Man Ray, beloved friend of Soutine and Jean Cocteau - the toast of Montparnasse. One of the century's first truly independent women, she cut a wide swath of color and passion wherever she went. Man Ray, Foujita, Kisling, and others immortalized her in their work. Crowds roared for her raunchy songs at the artists' boite, Le Jockey. She appeared in nine films, including Leger's famous Ballet Mecanique. And she painted hundreds of portraits and dream-like landscapes, many of which are included in these memoirs, working in a fresh naive style that made her one-person show a sellout. Featuring full page reproductions of original paintings by Kiki herself, plus famous and lesser known photographs of Kiki by Man Ray and portraits of her by other important artists, Kiki's Memoirs brushes vivid new color on to the canvas of 1920s Montparnasse and sketchesin bold strokes the indomitable spirit of an unforgettable personality who was always a woman but never a lady.
Hopewell, N.J. : The Ecco Press, c1996
298 p. :,ill. ;,24 cm
Statement of Responsibility:
introduction by Ernest Hemingway and Foujita ; reproductions of paintings by Kiki ; photography by Man Ray ; translated from the French by Samuel Putnam ; additional material translated by Billy Kluver and Julie Martin ; edited and annotated by Billy Kluver and Julie Martin
Branch Call Number:
Montparnasse (Paris, France) History 20th century
Artists' models France Paris Biography