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Kiki of Montparnasse
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    (October 2, 1901-April 29, 1953)
    Born in Chatillon-sur-Seine, France
    Birth name was Alice Prin
    Model/nightclub singer/painter
    Posed for Jean Cocteau, Francis Picabia, Alexander Calder, Arno Breker, Moise Kisling, Amadeo Modigliani, Maurice Utrillo and Man Ray
    Wrote 'Kiki's Memoirs' (1929)
    She began posing nude for sculptors at age 14.
    She went to New York hoping for a film career, but on the day of her Paramount screen test, realized she had forgotten her comb and never showed up (1923).
    She spent a night in jail after slugging a cafe owner and a policeman (1925).
    When singing in nightclubs, she would climb on tables and lift her skirt, showing her garters and often a lot more (since she never wore underwear).
    She died from the effects of alcohol and cocaine.
    The New York Times wrote, 'Kiki had a wretched childhood that could only lead to laughter or despair, and being solid and brave she chose laughter.'
    She had a sold-out exhibition of her paintings in Paris (1927).
    Even as she slipped into poverty, she visited elderly hospital patients to bring them cheer and any gifts she could find.
    She said, 'All I need is an onion, a bit of bread, and a bottle of red wine, and I will always find someone to offer me that.'
    Ernest Hemingway wrote that she 'dominated the era of Montparnasse more than Queen Victoria ever dominated the Victorian era.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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