IN PRAISE OF ELSE von FREYTAG-LORINGHOVEN
Last night, I was reading about the amazing Dada artist, poet and living artwork, Else von Freytag-Loringhoven. What a wild and wonderful woman. Love, Susie x
‘The famous Philadelphia-based modernist painter George Biddle hired female models in his studio, just like the majority of male artists of the time. He required his models to be nude and still, in order to serve as inspiration for his creations.
During this period, Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven lived in poverty and had to work as a model. George Biddle hired her and told her to take off her clothes in his studio.
The Baroness opened her raincoat, revealing that her body was not nude underneath, but rather covered in trash and items she collected in the streets. She wore a bra made out of tomato cans attached to a green string, her necklace was made out of a bird cage containing a canary inside, her arms were covered with a curtain of rings stolen from a local store, and her hat was made out of vegetables.
In this moment, she proudly stated how now she became the artist and George Biddle was simply her audience. This was a crucial moment not just for the liberation of women after centuries of their bodies being seen as objects, but for the entire Dada art movement.’