Croûte pour trinquer en l’honneur de Kiki de Montparnasse

I have made this Photomontage in 2012 after reading Kiki de Montparnasse; by Catel and José-Louis Bocquet.

Kiki de Montparnasse was the unwary muse of major avant-garde painters of the early twentieth century being part of the école de Paris movement.

Memorable witness of a flamboyant Montparnasse which included Man Ray, Foujita, Cocteau, Modigliani, Kisling and so on. She emancipated from her status as a simple model and became a Queen of the Night, a painter, a press cartoonist, a writer and a cabaret singer.

Talking about one of her paintings, at one of her exhibit opening, she says “C’est une croûte et ça me fait croûter”. “Croûte” generally means the crust of bread. Here it means bad painting. “Croûter”; means eating in a very familiar way.

I have tried to make the image repulsive at first glance (as a bad painting is) but very attractive on closer look to respect Kiki’s assumption.

This sentence has inspired me this photomontage because bread is the main thing we eat in France and French bakers can make it so yummy! And we, French people, always talk when we eat. All the loaves of bread of the picture let imagine all the meals which have been taken (or not, in the case of Kiki as she was quite poor), and all the chatting around these loaves, pieces and crumbs of bread. I also have tried to show the complex personality of Kiki — who was very messy, amazingly artistic and with a very complex personality; somebody you need a closer look at to know her beauty and talent.

I have looked for a wine to go with the painting (wine and bread are such good friends). The thing is I do not drink wine; I only read the manga “The drops of God” by Tadashi Agi and Shu Okimoto. So I am a very bad student, as I do not follow their main message, which is that the only way to know a wine is to taste it. From what I have read, the description that best represents the painting is “Vinsanto la Chimera 93 de Castello di Monsanto”; so that would be the recommendation of a very tasteless person.

I have written to Catel, the author of the comic strip, and sent her the picture and here is what she replied:

“Chère Aurianne,
Merci pour votre “croûte” appétissante!
C’est une œuvre très intéressante, à la fois complexe et harmonieuse.
Bravo!
Bien à vous,
Catel”

I hope you will find it “appétissante” too, on an artistic and on a belly perspective. And please, talk about it!

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