One of the completely forgotten names—but a name well-known among the literati of the 1920’s--is that of The Baroness.
The Mama of Dada was a public event.
She painted her shaved head red. The streets of New York were her theatre and the name of her act was Dada. She wore a tomato-can bra, a bustle with a tailight and a bird cage around her neck with live canaries inside.
‘I know I was as good as anybody else in there,’ she said when Samuel Kootz, a New York gallery owner, announced that there would be no women artists in his gallery.
The identity of her father was unknown, her mother worked as a sewing maid. She attended a convent school in Paris for a short time before taking a job in a milliner’s workshop at 11 years old. Suzanne also worked as a funeral wreath maker, a vegetable seller and a waitress while she was still a young child.
When she was a teenager, she befriended artists living in the Montmartre neighborhood of Paris and worked as an acrobat at the Mollier circus. She fell from the trapeze while practicing and injured her back. Her brief stint with the circus was one of her fondest memories.
Her sense of commitment and unmistakable voice continues to win acclaim both in the United States and abroad.
She was born Joan Chandos Baez, the daughter of a physicist of Mexican descent whose teachings took him to various communities in New York, California and elsewhere.
She was an Argentine-born Surrealist known for her Gothic paintings that explore female sexuality and identity.
As a child, Leonor Fini was fascinated by death and decay and visited the morgue in her town to make anatomy sketches of the cadavers.
She had very little art training and was expelled from a series of schools throughout her youth. She read about art from the books in her uncle’s library, traveled widely and visited museums throughout Europe.