Bonjour Coquettes! Today we talk about art. We oh-so adore when a great piece of work completely takes over the space. Sometimes we feel it while strolling through a gallery, other times it’s when we sink deep into a film. It doesn’t matter what type of art we’re admiring. When it all comes together in total harmony - something sensational comes to life. C’est magnifique! And just as the perfect lingerie sits underneath most every lovely lady, there’s a myriad of muses behind most wonderful works of art.
Straight up and simple, the job of a muse is to inspire. It’s the artist who needs to penetrate the beauty. Then it happens! Art is created. Unfortunately, it’s usually not so simple. Most artist muse relationships are turbulent and complicated. At the fin de siècle Gustav Klimt found his muse in Emilie Floge, the sister of his brothers wife. Word was that this artist muse relationship was quite docile. The result, a collection of pseudo erotic paintings based on Emilie's female form.
Oh-la-la -- Paris in the roaring 20’s! Such a melting pot of great minds, and Zelda Fitzgerald was in the center of it all! Muse to husband, F. Scott Fitzgerald - this original flapper girl was not only the source for his characters, but he also used verbatim excerpts from her diary in his novels. Now that's art imitating the life of the muse.
This period, also known as the Jazz Age saw the irreverent offerings of Josephine Baker. With an affinity for dance and an addiction to the arts, the banana lady was muse to many. Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso and Christian Dior were just a few from the era who relied on her moves to inspire. Not familiar with the banana dance? Check out any Beyoncé video for a modern day translation.
But let’s not limit ourselves to the visual arts and literature. The artist muse relationship plays a major role in music. Betty Davis, wife and muse of Miles was the woman behind the man who redefined jazz. Interestingly enough, he left her saying she was too young and wild. He also thought she was having an affair with Jimi Hendrix.
That wispy voice that climaxes to rapture in Je T’aime…. Moi Non Plus is Jane Birkin. Though Serge Gainsbourg originally wrote the song for Brigitte Bardot, it didn’t take long for the Hermès bag namesake to round out her role as muse. Rumor has it the two were actually doing the deed to authenticate the song finale.
Andy Warhol referred to his muse as a Superstar, but he wasn’t the only one who created vehicles for Edie Sedgwick. Bob Dylan wrote "Just Like a Woman" and "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat" about the leggy leotard wearing lasse.
Marianne Faithfull may have calculated her romance with Mick Jagger, but there's no miscalculating now. She made major contributions to the Rolling Stones. Interested in the musings of a muse? She recently curated a show chronicling her life during those days. It's currently on display at the Tate gallery in Liverpool, England.
To Pedro Almodóvar there's an undeniable cheekiness that oozes out of Penelope Cruz which resonates so well with his films. This along with her generous cleavage, bed head hair and fiery temperament are celebrated on the screen. Though wildly passionate in their work, these latin lovers keep their relationship platonic.
Kate Moss started out as heroin chic. But it was through the lens of Mario Testino that the sexy woman emerged. This artist muse relationship churned out a collection of photos, many of which can be seen in Testino's book called Kate Moss. An homage to his greatest muse ever.