Grace Jones / Love to the Rhythm Art Outsiders Giclee on Canvas by Tennessee Loveless tells the life of a powerful black woman owning her life and her art.
Multi-faceted performer and cultural icon Grace Jones was born in Jamaica on May 19, 1948. She was raised by her religious grandparents and her strict parents in both Jamaica and Syracuse, New York. Grace related later that her grandmother’s new husband frequently beat her. She was a thin, shy child, who was bullied by classmates. She got the better of them when, after studying theater at Syracuse University, she moved to New York City and was signed to the Wilhelmina Modeling Agency. She had been rebelling against her parents for some time, wearing makeup, drinking, and going to gay clubs with her brother. She also earned money as a go-go dancer and did LSD, which she said was very important to her emotional growth.
Her striking appearance was most appreciated after she moved to Paris, France, where she modeled for Yves Saint Laurent, Kenzo, Giorgio Armani, and Karl Lagerfeld, and was photographed by the great photographer Helmet Newton. She embraced her androgynous look, and brought more acceptance to gender fluidity. During this time, she shared an apartment with Jerry Hall and Jessica Lange. Her modeling led to her signing a recording contract with Island Records, working with disco producer Tom Moulter, and gaining a reputation for her risqué performances at clubs like Studio 54. She became the darling of New York’s gay and art scenes, becoming friends with Andy Warhol. As the disco era waned, she transitioned into punk and new wave music.
In the 1980s, Jones began to work in both music and film simultaneously. She released covers by bands like The Pretenders, Roxy Music, and the Police, as well as her famed records Slave to the Rhythm and the compilation Island Life. She brought her dramatic looks to the screen in Conan the Destroyer, became a Bond woman in A View to a Kill, and skewered her own image as an iconoclastic personality in Boomerang.
Grace Jones has been hugely influential to pop superstars, being mentioned as inspiring to Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Annie Lennox, and Santigold. She is unique as a woman of color who owned her vision as a performer and drove it to success. She collaborated with and covered music from other musicians representing a wide array of styles, opening the door to future performers to do the same, while attempting to gain the same fearless, focused self-awareness and desire for artistic diversity. She was widely regarded as the muse of French illustrator and photographer Jean-Paul Goude, approaching her image and performances from the perspective of high art. VH1 placed her among the top 100 greatest women of rock and roll.
ABOUT TENNESSEE LOVELESS:
Tennessee Loveless is an artist who passionately delves into the subjects that speak to him, and has been increasingly noticed and well-received for doing so, skyrocketing in success and notoriety in only a few years. He’s been tailoring how he expresses his unique voice through a number of passion projects, which fortunately have been embraced by collectors around the world. Though he chooses Chicago as his home, he’s lived and created around the world, including Paris, Berlin, and LA. He started of his career painting drag queens in San Francisco, worked at Disney in licensing and production development, and moved on to become an official Disney interpretive artist. He is now building a variety of unique collections, including his Drag Landscapes and The Art Outsiders, and now the American Flag series. He is severely colorblind, but that hasn’t stopped him. In fact, it has led him to a visual style based in color psychology and layered with meaning. He is grateful knowing what some would see as an impediment has offered him a unique, artistic way of viewing the world. Find him at tennesseeloveless.com and artoutsiders.net, and all his available art for sale at artinsights.com