Interestingly, Jones, a Jamaican born artist, was actively working in the Parisian fashion world as a model at the time she moved into performance art. Her involvement and popularity in the Parisian fashion world as a spectacle, being a model, may be compared with the likes of Josephine Baker and Saarjite Baartman before her, black females whose bodies became the locus of the Parisian imagination.

Jones’ bold and often confrontational dress and performance style played with and disrupted primitivist myths about black sexuality. In collaboration with artists like Jean-Paul Goude and Keith Haring, Jones transformed her body into medley characters, many of which satirized a primitivist reading of the black female body. The multiple personas of Grace Jones ranged widely from overly sexualized dance performances in which she donned a gorilla or tiger suit to very masculinized self-representations.

Krista A. Thompson’s Post-Colonial Performance & Installation Art

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