Saturday, July 28, 2007

Vali Myers A Memoir

Australian artist, Vali Myers (1930-2003), was a legend in her own time. Première danseuse of the Melbourne Modern Ballet at seventeen, she left home and spent ten years in Post WWII Paris, much of the time on the streets of the Latin Quarter, while never ceasing to draw. There she met Tennessee Williams, Jean Cocteau and Jean Genet. Ed van der Elsken featured her on the cover of his Love on the Left Bank, the manifesto of Paris in the 1950’s, and George Plimpton praised her work in his Paris Review. Eventually finding Paris depressing, Vali went to Italy, where she found a “paradise” in the verdant valley near Positano and spent the next forty years of semi-seclusion in this wild canyon; she continued producing her intricate, mystical, and passionate drawings and paintings, each one taking from six months to two years to complete. Vali also came to NYC from time to time, holding a salon in her room at the Chelsea Hotel; until finally she returned to her native Australia, in 1992, recognized as an artist sui generis.
In this frank and fascinating memoir Gianni Menichetti unforgettably gives us Vali’s art, times, and personality; for thirty years the author lived with Vali in the wild canyon of ‘Il Porto’— first as lover and willing slave, ultimately as friend, confidant, and protector.

Gianni Menichetti is an artist and poet, whose work is represented in private collections in Europe, America and Australia. Recipient of three distinguished awards at the International ‘Gypsy Friend’ Arts Competition, Lanciano, Italy, his books include The Land of Kali, A Tree of Tatters, and Poems to the Gypsies, as well as ‘Il Porto,’ storia di un canyon selvaggio, (in English and Italian) and Storie di cani (in Italian). He still lives in Il Porto, in the little Moorish pavilion he shared with Vali for so many years.

Vali Myers: A Memoir by Gianni Menichetti (2007) Available HERE.

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