Friday, January 2, 2009
I'm going to start doing posts about female artists. To start it off here is Leonor Fini.
Leonor was born in 1908 and raised primarily in Italy. Her mother disguised her as a boy for the first five years of her life to keep her father from kidnapping her. In her early twenties Leonor moved to Paris where she began a successful career as a painter. She showed with and befriended many of the leading painters including Max Ernst, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, and Paul Eluard. Its interesting to me that many women actually showed with the surrealists -and yet history tends to forget them. While continuing to paint, Leonor Fini went on to design costumes and sets for well known plays and movies. In the 1970s she wrote three novels. She continued to be friends with some of the best known writers, artists, and thinkers of her time while simultaneously being a bonafide cat lady. At one point she had 23 cats. She also managed to live out one of her most famous quotes that "A woman should live with two men; one more a lover and the other more a friend.". Throughout her work, Leonor always seemed to celebrate the female form -often showing women protecting their male lovers or women loving other women. She depicted women exploring their own identity at a time when female identity both physically and mentally was being defined by men.
This painting was actually used as inspiration for a Madonna music video in the 90s.