Monday, July 02, 2012

Rose Tinted Girl and some thoughts about Leonor Fini

Rose Tinted Girl
3"x4" acrylic on paper

I did another mini portrait, playing with the underpaintings and bright colors. This is orange, green and pink.

I saw a painting of Leonor Fini's Splendid Devils a few weeks ago, and I guess something about it stuck in my mind. The hair, the bright colors. I didn't use it as a source, but it was definitely in my mind when I painted her hair. I remember when I first encountered Leonor Fini. It was over 20 years ago, when I was in college and I was doing a report on female surrealist artists. I remember particularly Leonor Fini, Meret Oppenheimer, and of course, Frida Kahlo. I think I found Leonor Fini a bit strange,  and at the same time I was enamored of Frida Kahlo, so Fini kind of fell by the way side as I explored more of Kahlo and was  influenced by her in my own art work.

But I think Leonor Fini is worth some attention. Just in writing this blog, I have been amazed, astonished, amused and sometimes a little bit bothered by not just her work, but also her life, which was lived in an exceedingly dramatic way and far ahead of her time. She was a powerful and talented surrealist artist at a time when women simply weren't allowed to be that. In fact, she refused the title of "surrealist" because Andre Breton decided that she should be a muse, subservient, not an artist in her own right. And after her death, Salvador Dali said about her,  'Better than most, perhaps. But talent is in the balls', thereby ensuring that her stock as an artist sank quickly, in large part because she was a woman. Oy. I guess I am glad to be a woman in this time, rather than back then.

Well, I'm no Leonor Fini, but I am Rowena Murillo, and I am going about living in my own way. I've never even thought about whether I was ahead of my own time, I'm just smack dab in the middle of it and too close to the matter to worry about it. I am, however, interested in the influence that Leonor Fini might have upon my painting. Her life is a bit too dramatic for me, but the paintings? I think I like.

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