Sunday, 1 March 2015

Vali Myers

 

 I did say I would get back to you after I actually read Vali Myers biography, so here is a quick review. The one I read was the Vali Myers Biography by her lover Gianni Menichetti. I found it very inspiring and enjoyed all the little stories he remembered.

Vali was a real individual and a real character, she seems to have always known her own nature and been true to it, no matter how much trouble that got her into. She was a real wild creature, happy living in the streets or in a wild canyon. Her pet fox named Foxy seems to have been like an animal familiar, and Vali herself was very foxlike.

She made beautiful, spiritual artworks with slow painstaking work, often working late at night, sitting inside a huge cage. Some of her artworks took a year to finish. She sold these to finance her life in the canyon of Positano, but always regretted parting with her work and would buy it back if she could.

Many years of her life were totally devoted to her pets in her Positano canyon, where she lived to take care of her dogs, pigs, donkeys, rabbits and other animals. They always got the best of everything. According to Gianni, sometimes there was no food for the humans because she had fed it to the animals. They were always fighting with the local government to keep the valley.

There were a few aspects of her that are not so inspiring such as her savage temper, and her relationships with sometimes abusive men. Also I wish she had got some of her dogs desexed as I worry what will happen to them and they keep breeding. Gianni lives alone in the valley with the animals now, but when he goes, I do not know what will happen to the valley or the animals.

I have always been jealous of those artists who are able to live for their art, living on the street and in the most appalling conditions, not just 'selling out', myself I would not be able to do that, I need a proper roof over my head and food. I am a ravenous creature, snacking all day long. I would not be able to go without food.

I am inspired by Vali's wild spirit. She was an Australian girl, and I wish I could have met her when she came back to Melbourne in her last years. Alas, she died in 2003 when I was only about 15 and could never have made a pilgrimage to Melbourne to see her at that age.

I would recommend the biography to everyone, Gianni writes in a very engaging way, and it is a pleasure to read. It is harder to get hold of and more expensive than Nightflower, her other biography. I have also ordered a copy of that. I put my reviews and ratings of books on my Goodreads, the link is on my blog if you are interested.

16 comments:

  1. woah never heard of that woman, thanks for the hint!

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    1. Thank you! I hope you find her inspiring!

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  2. Never heard of her either... Seems really cool

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    1. I hope she inspires you! She was amazing!

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  3. Never heard of her but I will definately google her - curious to see her work. Thanks!

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    1. Not as much as I thought I would. But I can understand why she's inspired so many people. I had no idea that the thunder on Patti Smith's knee was actually tattooed on her by Vali. I have had a photograph of Smith and Mapplethorpe on my wall since my early teens because of that thunder.

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  4. I definitely want to read this book. I am so fascinated by these people who see, to devote their entire lives into their work. I, like you, love and am dedicated to a more bohemian lifestyle but I too need steady food and a roof over my head. I couldn't live like this. But it is interesting to see life through the eyes of another.

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    1. Ah, I am glad I am not the only person who needs a roof and proper food! And you are inspiring too!

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  5. I think there is a book in our vintage book shop? I must check!!! Yes, like you, free spirit is appealing.......but everything has a price in the end....sadly.
    Unique people do brighten my world to be sure !! Thank you for into her to me!
    xoDebi

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    1. Oooh I hope you find it! You are welcome!

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  6. I enjoyed reading your review, and it's prompted me to find this book. Vali was a fascinating many facetted person of much talent. She was a free spirit but I'm with you though, it would have been better had she thought of the future for her animal friends. I love seeing photographs of her and her style was an inspiration. In some ways she reminds me of Frida Kahlo.

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  7. I have to read it now too!!! AWESOME. Thanks :O)

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    1. You are welcome, I hope you enjoy it!

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