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INTIMACY

A feminine version of art

Committed, touching, daring and talented, women have stamped their own style across every field of art. Here are just a few of them.

Niki de Saint-Phalle. As a sculptor, painter, visual artist and even a filmmaker, she is purely self-taught. She quickly gained the respect of her peers, however, joining the Nouveaux Réalistes movement alongside César, Christo and Yves Klein. Her life and her feminist stance lie at the very heart of her work which has now become iconic, notably through her monumental Nanas sculptures depicting giant, brightly coloured women with voluptuous curves.

Pénélope Bagieu. Her humour and modernity make her one of the most famous comic book illustrators. Her pencil strokes create hilarious scenarios featuring the everyday lives of couples or singletons. The adventures of her Joséphine character have even been turned into two films starring Marilou Berry in the title role. As an ardent feminist, she pays homage to women who have dared to bend the rules and break social norms through characters depicted in her two books Brazen - Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World.

Mona Chollet. As a journalist for Le Monde Diplomatique as well as a writer and essayist, she stands up for women's rights through her works that fight against the obsessions with fashion and beauty as well as social constraints in terms of motherhood and women's quests for independence. In her latest book Witches: the Undefeated Power of Women, she looks at the history of witches and witch hunts.

Josephine Baker. As a singer, dancer and entertainer, she was famous for her "banana skirt" that she wore as her costume on stage at Parisian cabarets, as well as for her unforgettable song J’ai deux amours. As well as being a member of the Resistance during the war, she was also involved in the American civil rights movement. This big-hearted woman took in and adopted twelve children of various origins, creating an eclectic family that she named her "rainbow tribe".

Beyoncé, Angèle and Lio. Why them? Because these women are afraid of nothing, rip up the rule book and shout from the rooftops what those of us below are thinking. Single Ladies, Balance ton quoi, Les brunes ne comptent pas pour des prunes… Three styles, three generations of artists for feel-good girl power that oozes positivity and exuberance.

Cindy Sherman. By featuring herself in her photographs, presenting her body in unusual costumes with sometimes provocative poses, this American aims to highlight – and denounce – women's place in society and how they are represented. Her most famous works include Untitled Films Stills, Fashion, Sex Pictures and Broken Dolls.

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