[Kiki is] a vibrant force in a colorful world - and the heart of Braude's history. A rich, affectionate look at bohemian Paris.
Kiki Man Ray is a thoroughly researched and gracefully written life of the (until now) underestimated model, performer, painter, actress, and influencer known as Kiki de Montparnasse. Mark Braude's biography brings her out of the wings and sets her firmly center stage in this evocative portrait of artistic life in the Paris of the 1920s.
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.
Kiki de Montparnasse was more than a muse - she was a vivacious, independent woman whose talent and magnetism helped make Paris the center of the art world in the 1920s. In Mark Braude's riveting cultural history, the Queen of Montparnasse rises again. This is a lively and compassionate tribute to the chanteuse, model, and portraitist who held center stage in her life, and who inspired some of the finest Surrealist art of the twentieth century.
A delightful, marvelously readable, meticulously researched romp of a book, Kiki Man Ray brings to life not just the kaleidoscopically talented Kiki herself, but the endlessly fascinating Montparnasse milieu over which she reigned.
Man Ray captured 1920s Paris in his photographs, especially those of a singular muse: Kiki de Montparnasse, a hostess, a celebrity, a cabaret performer, a woman whose bawdy, heartfelt songs were the pulse of Paris. Mark Braude turns the tables - and the lens - and gives us a unique portrait: Man Ray from the perspective of that celebrated muse and her ephemeral art of performance.
Kiki de Montparnasse - model, muse, artist - is the sole realist in a room of Surrealists. Unafraid of contradiction, she lived the fast life in the stillness of a pose, the intimacy of a public dream. Beautifully written, with a light touch and a wise eye, Mark Braude's Kiki Man Ray arranges the elements of Kiki's life, letting radiant patterns emerge.
Exquisitely crafted . . . [S]harp and succinct . . . Kiki Man Ray rescues its protagonist from the dustbin of history and advocates eloquently for the vitality and importance of the world she helped to forge.
If the only 'Kiki de Montparnasse' you are aware of is a lingerie brand, please check out this top-notch, highly readable nonfiction from cultural historian Mark Braude right now.
[An] affectionate biography . . . As irresistible as it is overdue.
A lively study of [Kiki de Montparnasse] who exemplified [a] cocktail of high spirits and a heedless self-destruction.
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 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.
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.