Superhuman Grace Jones is back, touring Australia (note: her show involves myriad costume changes and a rather dashing male pole dancer), and on the big screen, too; the documentary Grace Jones: Bloodlight & Bami is in select cinemas from International Women’s Day, Thursday March 8th. If reading the preceding sentence does not cause you to release a short, violent squeal, then perhaps you are not sufficiently familiar with the scope of Ms Jones’ awesomeness? Allow us to fill you in.
1. Grace survived an abusive upbringing in Jamaica. "[My childhood] was all about the Bible and beatings,” she says. “We were beaten for any little act of dissent, and hit harder the worse the disobedience. It formed me as a person, my choices, men I have been attracted to... It was a profoundly disciplined, militant upbringing, and so in my own way, I am very militant and disciplined.”
Grace live at the Palais, Melbourne
2. At 18, Grace became a model, and soon started walking runways for Yves St. Laurent, Claude Montana, and Kenzo Takada. While based in Paris, she shared an apartment Jerry Hall and Jessica Lange.
Grace with housemate Jerry Hall
3. Following her modelling career, Grace recorded a stack of killer disco tracks. Her first club hit was “I Need a Man”, and she quickly became a star of New York City’s Studio 54 scene. She remains one of the most successful dance artists of all time.
4. Grace also starred in bunch of awesomely cheesy films. She played Zula in Conan the Destroyer, and May Day in the Bond flick A View to a Kill.
5. As well as creating truckloads of art, Grace also inspired iconic works by the likes of photographer Jean-Paul Goude, Issey Miyake and Thierry Mugler. Oh, and she paled around with Andy Warhol. Of course. Her look has been described as “neo-cubist” and she is perhaps best known for Jean-Paul’s images; the French artist (with whom she also had a child) used distorting effects to enhance Grace’s blackness and present her in physically impossible stances.
Grace Jones by Jean-Paul Goude
Find out more about the Grace Jones doco just over here.