Leonor Fini's Not-So-Naive Erotiverse

Disclaimer: Raunchy howbeit classy content ♨️

I first laid eyes on Fini’s works at the Museum of Sex in New York. What I mistakenly expected was a lot of crude zoophilic paintings and perhaps some steamy human-on-human action. To my surprise, her works were more philosophical and explorative in nature, rather than provocative, crass, and straightforward.

Before I go further into my spiel though, here are a few biographical facts that I think help set the scene:

  • She was a proud bisexual and had a house full of lovers and cats. At some point, she had about 23 cats and about 5 lovers. Therefore, Lover to Cat ratio was about 1/5.

  • She was friends with Salvador Dali and Max Ernst (both are total BABES btw. If you’re interested, check out my earlier post about Dali https://www.thoughtfzn.com/lizza-time/?offset=1536038640021 )

  • She was a big feminist 🚺

  • Madonna used Fini’s imagery in her music video “Bedtime Story” in 1994. Shitty song not gonna lie, but great visuals. The thumbnail below is a direct allusion to Fini.

Here is Leonor Fini’s painting for reference:

The Ends of the Earth,  1948

The Ends of the Earth, 1948

Anyway, back to business…

Her works are not only pleasant to look at, which I can’t always say for Ernst for example, but also artistically effective; most of the color palettes are kept subdued, so that your eye naturally stays longer on the subject and lets you comfortably notice the details. Very effective to capture your audience’s attention I must say. Not everyone’s forte cough cough Dali…

Apart from the aesthetic elements of her works, such as the beautiful nudes and welcoming color schemes, what brings it home is the confident positioning of the female as alpha. How rare is it that the female is the self-reliant conquerer, the powerful and merciful victor? The answer is- not often. Especially before this period in time. Not sure if I can defend her interest in zoophilia here, so just gonna say: to each their own…

To finish this thought stream up, I think that the most significant part of the exhibit was the fact that it made me and the other gallery visitors think. It awakened a genuine desire to sit down and ponder about role of society on determining our sexuality and sexual habits. I know, I know, what a millennial thing of me to say…

I hope you enjoy. If you do, here is a link with more works: http://www.weinstein.com/artists/leonor-fini/

Portraite de Femme aux feuille d’acanthe , 1946

Portraite de Femme aux feuille d’acanthe, 1946

La Prisone de Zigriphine , 1975

La Prisone de Zigriphine, 1975

La Leçon de Botanique,  1974

La Leçon de Botanique, 1974

Les Carcans , 1984

Les Carcans, 1984

Rogomelec , 1978

Rogomelec, 1978