Sunday, July 29, 2007

Vali Myers. A Memoir. Gianni Menichetti

  • Vali was a dear dear friend of mine and next door neighbour in the Nicholas Building for many years until her passing away February 2003. We would take our studio guests around to each others studio, for a visit. I spent many hours in Vali's studio, as did many others, sitting around on her cushions talking art, life and having a few drinks as the sun went down on the Cathedral outside her studio. Her advise invaluable, her friendship cherished. I still have many of Vali's items which she passed on to me, in my studio, things that are of value to another artist. Early handwritten drafts of her book and diary, and even her old broken fridge, which I use to store my clay in - the door seal still works and prevents the clay from drying out. With these, to me it feels like Vali has not left the Building, rather she's just away somewhere, at Il Porto perhaps feeding the chooks and working by candle light with a goose quill pen on a new work, and one day will walk through the door again with 'Hello love, what have you been up to?" I thoroughly recommend this book to everyone. - Garry Shepherd

The Australian artist, Vali Myers, was a legend in her own time. Première danseuse of the Melbourne Modern Ballet at seventeen, she left home and spent ten years in Paris, living much of the time on the streets but never ceasing to draw. Ed van der Elsken famously put her on the cover of his Love on the Left Bank, that manifesto of Paris in the 1950’s and her work was praised by George Plimpton in his Paris Review. Then, saying goodbye to all that, she spent forty years in semi-seclusion in a wild canyon in Italy, where she continued producing her minute, mystical, and passionate drawings. Tough as nails, she fought the local authorities who wanted to introduce loggers into the valley, after a long struggle succeeding in having it designated an Environmental Oasis. Finally, Vali returned triumphant to her native Melbourne, where she was recognized as an artist sui generis.

In this brilliant memoir by her friend and lover, Gianni Menichetti, her art, times, and personality come through unforgettably. For thirty years, Gianni Menichetti, the author of this memoir, lived with Vali Myers in the wild canyon of ‘Il Porto’—first as lover and willing slave, ultimately as friend, confidant, and protector.

New Release: Vali Myers ● A Memoir ● by Gianni Menichetti

  • “You saw in her the personalization of something torn and loose and deep down primitive in all of us.” — George Plimpton, Paris Review

  • “Vali’s dogs, Vali’s trees, Vali’s donkey, the birds, the flowers, the caves, the spiders of Vali. We have seen for the first time the old skeleton of nature." — Bernardo Bertolucci, film-maker, Last Tango in Paris, Stealing Beauty

  • "It was like being friends with some angel who had gotten kicked out for lewd behavior" - Chris Stern, musician, Blondie

$25.00 US
ISBN 0-9785606-0-4
Published by The Golda Foundation © 2007

Vali & Gianni dancing, Il Porto by Marco Bakker (2000)

Vali in her Nicholas Building studio

Some of Vali's artworks. These are prints which are availible for purchase from

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