American actress AxiaKendrick paying tribute toJamaican model/actress/singer Grace Jones.

FEW artistes in pop culture are as photogenic as Grace Jones, who literally defined the phrase 'Strike a pose'. Recently, American actress Aixa Kendrick paid tribute to the Jamaican model/singer/actress by revisiting some of her iconic snapshots.

The photos were originally taken by celebrated French illustrator and graphic designer Jean-Paul Goude during the late 1970s when he and Jones were romantically involved. The recreations include Kendrick in a two-piece man's suit, and another of her in a full leather outfit with satin shawl to match.

Kendrick was photographed by Frank M Good. The shots are featured in the summer edition of OSSMA Mag Europe.

Jones' sense of adventure in the 1970s made her a hit with the counter-culture and mainstream public. She was a regular at Studio 54 in New York, hobnobbing with other avant garde high-rollers like painter Andy Warhol.

In the 1980s Jones teamed with Sly and Robbie for pop-reggae albums like Nightclubbing and Living my Life, which produced the hit singles Pull up to The Bumper and My Jamaican Guy.

“Her daringness in allowing herself the freedom to play with her whole bodacious beingness! To shine, strut, cackle, growl, hula-hoop and shout out her truth!” Kendrick exclaimed in a recent interview with the Jamaica Observer. “Look, she purposefully chose not to acquiesce or succumb to any played-out and dictated 'female' tropes like 'be nice', 'be pretty'…'be manageable or compliant'. No, she chose to explore her phenomenal dynamism in all her artistic glory. She cannot be minimised nor categorised.”

Originally from Spanish Town, Jones migrated to the United States in the 1960s and lived in New York where she became a model. In the early 1970s, while working in France, she met Goude, then one of the leading pop photographer/illustrators in Europe.

Their tumultuous relationship is credited with inspiring some of Goude's finest work including the jacket for Island Life, Jones' 1977 album.

Kendrick's father is from Alabama and her mother from Puerto Rico. Their black consciousness led her to appreciate the achievements of firebrands like James Baldwin, Paul Robeson, Franz Fanon and Miriam Makeba.

In her teens she discovered Jones through Pull up to The Bumper and My Jamaican Guy, as well through Jones' roles in the Bond movie A View to A Kill, and Boomerang starring Eddie Murphy.

Kendrick's credits include the films The Company You Keep as well as Sisters and John Wick 3.

Aixa Kendrick copies one of Grace Jones' iconic poses.
BY HOWARD CAMPBELL Observer senior writer

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