As Stephie Key prepares for her first solo art exhibition in Paris, the Prime Minister's daughter has revealed the inspiration behind her risque creations.

Key, 22, has raised eyebrows by exposing her body to explore recurring themes of marriage and sexuality in her art, which she creates under the pseudonym Cherry Lazar.

The work has featured Key topless and pointing a gun at her head, dressed as a sexy nurse, and a couple of well-known pieces featuring the artist as a human plate - covered in sushi and McDonald's.

(App users tap here to see Stephie's Instagram art)


As she prepares for the exhibition - called Cherry on Top at the Jewelry Shop Gallery - she has revealed she has been inspired by "strong, beautiful, sensual and powerful women", including the second wave feminists of Britain and the US in the 70s, who were "militantly aware of their own sexuality and their rights as females".

"The definition of beauty is different everywhere, but the sense of self-confidence and power is universal," Key said in a statement to the Herald on Sunday from gallerist Trevor Mansfield.

"I am an ardent proponent of femininity, and more so, of the pride and ability to live life the way that you see fit," she said.

Mansfield said Key "plays with stereotypes and ideals to show that these can be embraced and used. Just like the reclaiming of negative words, her art reclaims traditional gender stereotypes (the sexy nurse, the naughty bride) to show that women are not weaker because of these, but stronger because they can embrace and use them to their advantage".

Mansfield, a fashion and fine art photographer based in Paris and San Francisco, says since Key moved to the prestigious Paris College of Art, she has learned to embrace her innermost thoughts.

??natural habitat?? #poledancedivonne #shooting #sister #easter #divonnelesbains

A photo posted by Cherry Lazar (@cherrylazar) on

"Stephie has clarified that the nature of her art is no cry for attention in relation to her parents - it is simply her expressing herself and her fantasies," he said. "The imagination and execution behind the work comes from a girlishly innocent origin. In the production of the artworks, the environment feels like a young girl's slumber party, a girl's night wearing wigs and costumes," Mansfield said.

"Clearly the pieces are not perceived as innocent, however the spirit of the photos as well as the production of them is playful and youthful.

"Sexuality and sensuality are innate human characteristics expressed uniquely through human interaction from birth until death.


"The fact that there is often a shame-guilt complex associated with sex, particularly for women, is a factor that drives Cherry's desire to boldly embrace, and even exaggeratedly portray, these aspects.

"In Cherry's world, women are free to dress up and play, reliving nostalgic youthful innocence while simultaneously, shamelessly embracing our innate sexual energy."

??#tbt princess4eva?? #magazine #article #2013 #lookmomimontv #popart #princess

A photo posted by Cherry Lazar (@cherrylazar) on

Prime Minister John Key has previously declared himself "very proud" of his daughter's work.

One of her earliest pieces is in the kitchen of her parents' Auckland mansion - a sculpture of an "alien cat/fish creature" she did when 5.

There are 60 pieces in Key's exhibition and they will be for sale online once the month-long exhibition opens on May 7.