Painted photograph

22.8 x 22.8 cm (9 x 9 in.)

With their camera and brush, Pierre & Gilles turned a transgender icon into a symbol of the French Republic, a modern Marianne. On a French flag, the young woman pertly looks at the viewer and winks. Born a girl in a boy's body, Marie-France arrived in France in the 1960s. Despite repression, she performed in cabarets. She embodied the underground and built bridges between the night scene and the mainstream.

Since the 1970s, Pierre & Gilles have used references to homosexual and transsexual culture to gain official recognition for them. Marie-France became one of the French couple’s favourite models.

Marie-France was shown for the first time by the Pinault Collection at the Tri Postal in Lille during the 2008 exhibition “Passage du temps” (“Passage of Time”).