Kiki Man Ray: Art, Love and Rivalry in 1920s Paris (Paperback)Mark Braude (author)
Though many have never heard her name, Alice Prin - Kiki de Montparnasse - was the icon of 1920s Paris. She captivated as a ground-breaking nightclub performer, wrote a bestselling memoir, sold out exhibitions of her paintings, and shared drinks and ideas with the likes of Pablo Picasso, Peggy Guggenheim, and Marcel Duchamp. She also shepherded along the career of a then-unknown American photographer: Man Ray.
Following Kiki in the years between 1921 and 1929, when she lived and worked with Man Ray, Kiki Man Ray charts their complicated entanglement and reveals how Man Ray - always the unabashed careerist - went on to become one of the most famous photographers of the twentieth century, enjoying wealth and prestige, while Kiki's legacy was lost.
But this isn't a story of an overbearing male genius and his defeated muse. During the 1920s it was Kiki, not Man Ray, who was the brighter of the two rising stars and a powerful figure among the close-knit community of models, painters, writers and cafe wastrels who made their homes in gritty Montparnasse. Following the couple as they created art, struggled for power and competed for fame, Kiki Man Ray illuminates for the first time Kiki's seminal influence on the culture of 1920s Paris, and challenges ideas about artists and muses, and the lines separating the two.
Publisher: John Murray Press
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 220 g
Dimensions: 196 x 130 x 22 mm
'A lively study of [Kiki de Montparnasse] who exemplified [a] cocktail of high 'spirits and a heedless self-destruction.' - The Times
'Mark Braude focuses on Kiki de Montparnasse and Man Ray ... immersing the reader in a world where everyone was pushing their creativity in unimaginable directions.' - The Spectator
'Exuberantly entertaining ... A riveting glimpse into the absinthe-fuelled Parisian jazz age' - The Lady Magazine
'Finally, a detailed and entertaining account of Alice Prin, aka Kiki de Montparnasse, and her artistic and romantic relationship with Man Ray. Best known as a popular (and usually nude) artists' model, Kiki was a singer and performer, a painter, a writer, and the central female instigator for the avant-garde demimonde of Paris in the 1920s. Mark Braude's writing and subject make this book irresistible, as was Kiki herself.' - Jim Jarmusch
'The frank, lively voice that comes through in Kiki's vignettes makes a cornerstone for the case, which Braude renews, that she was far more than Man Ray's party-girl companion - that it was, in fact, her vitality, her connectedness in artistic networks, and her intuitive understanding of his creative process that hoisted Man Ray on to the highway to fame.' - The Telegraph
'Mark Braude's exuberantly entertaining biography sets out to rebalance the much-told story of Left Bank Paris, in which Kiki - model, memoirist and muse - is usually cast as a bit player.' - The New York Times
'[A] heady romp through the galleries and nightclubs of interwar France' - Vogue
'Mark Braude's spirited and thoroughly researched account brings [Kiki] to life, highlighting her belligerent nature and generous spirit, as well as her activities as an artist and writer ... Braude's colourful evocation captures the heady atmosphere of a Paris still traumatized by the First World War' - TLS
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