Alice Prin, better known as Kiki de Montparnasse, became a model for sculptors when she was 14, posing for Alexander Calder and Jean Cocteau and later Man Ray. Her defiant and sultry attitude helped define femininity in the 1920’s
Kiki was the toast of Montparnasse at a time when the popular quarter in south Paris welcomed penniless avant-garde artists and bohemian characters. Kiki was not particularly beautiful or elegant, but there was something electric about her: “she was very wonderful to look at”, said Hemingway.
In 1921 she met Man Ray and accepted to pose for him. It was love at first sight. They moved in together to a modern building on rue Campagne Première. Kiki would entertain in her salon the greatest personalities of her time. Matisse, Picasso, Joyce and Gertrude Stein all dropped in.