photos by Peter Hoogeboom
A singer, model, writer and actress, Suzy Solidor (1900 – 1983) was an intensely iconic figure of the Parisian night-life during the roaring twenties: she owned a nightclub in Paris, where she used to woo her audience with a staple of sailor songs in hommage to Surcouf, the corsair of St Malo she claimed as her ancestor, or chronicle the love affairs of men and women. A self-avowed sexual predator, she openly dated both, and became somewhat of a de facto advocate of sexual freedom.
From the moment she arrives in Paris from Brittany, Solidor becomes a sought-after model for painters, sculptors and photographers. One of the singer’s most famous publicity stunts was to become known as the “most painted woman in the world”. She posed for some of the greatest known artists of the day including Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Raoul Dufy, Marie Laurencin, Francis Picabia and Kees van Dongen. Solidor slowly built-up a collection of more than 200 portraits of herself, which lined the walls of her successive clubs.
-Mirror Mirror- is an exhibition curated by Jo Bloxham and Benjamin Lignel taking off in Espace Solidor in Cagnes-sur-Mer, where Solidor moved in 1960 and lived until her death. 29 artists were asked to make work inspired by this famous French modern-day Narcissus. Espace Solidor is the only public space in France devoted purely to contemporary jewellery. After France the exhibition will travel to Velvet da Vinci gallery in San Francisco, United States.