Thursday, June 24, 2010

Inspiration: Vali Myers

Since hearing Anne Rice speak about surrounding herself with things that inspire her (I mentioned it here), I've been more conscious about what inspires me.  What tv shows/movies/books/music do I just kill time with, and which ones really spark creativity?

One artist that I've been thinking about a lot lately is Vali Myers.  In many ways, I think she must have been the exact opposite of me; she seems like she was just completely fearless, and lived her life making choices that were shocking to most people.  She spent years as a homeless ballet dancer in Paris, then several decades in a remote village in Italy, living with two men and countless animals, including her pet fox.

She tattooed her face.

She inspired, befriended and loved many famous artists, including Salvador Dali, Tennessee Williams,  Patti Smith, and Mary Ellen Mark and Annie Liebovitz, who took this photo of her in 1974:

Her artwork is unique and passionate, and utterly painstaking: She used a technique similar to pointillism, creating beautiful works of art using tiny pinpricks of ink.  It was an incredibly time consuming process, and could take months or years to complete.  She herself, her animals, and her lovers were often the subject of her artwork.

She lived her life with joy, and fire.  She was free.

She died after a short bout with cancer in 2003, back in Australia, where she'd been born.

"I've had 72 absolutely flaming years. It doesn't bother me at all, because, you know love, when you've lived like I have, you've done it all. I put all my effort into living; any dope can drop dead. I'm in the hospital now, and I guess I'll kick the bucket here. Every beetle does it, every bird, everybody. You come into the world and then you go." ~ Vali Myers, 2003


  1. Thanks for introducing me to Vali Myers' life and work. I shall go and look up more about her now. Sounds like she had a fascinating artist's life, the kind I dreamed about living when I was growing up, but was too pragmatic and risk averse to truly pursue!

  2. Vali Myers was amazing. I think I am just now getting to the point in my life where I can accept that an exciting, dramatic artist's life, cluttered with drugs and lovers and spotlights, really wasn't ever right for me.

    It's still fun to dream about, though!

  3. love the new header! who's the artist?

  4. Thanks Angella - I made the header, actually. It's a photo of me, taken with my cell phone, that I funked up in Photoshop. I kind of like it, and I think the mood of it fits my blog better than the last one.
    I'm looking at YOU :)

  5. aha, you are an artist in addition to all your other talents!

  6. This is wonderful! There is a Facebook page set up about her!


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