The arabesque that Grace Jones is executing in this 1978 photograph/artistic creation may be graceful, but it is also impossible.
“What I’m interested is the illusion of reality,” says the photographer and art director Jean-Paul Goude, who was to be Jones’s Pygmalion, transforming her from hard-partying model to an androgynous fantasy image and international superstar. “And unless you are extraordinarily supple, you cannot do this arabesque. The main point is that Grace couldn’t do it, and that’s the basis of my entire work: creating a credible illusion.”
A look through So Far So Goude, which collects the highlights of Goude’s idiosyncratic 30-year career, reveals how much he has been inspired by the idea of an impossible image of womanhood. Goude’s approach was to prove ultimately frustrating as far as Jones was concerned.