We had a family reunion of my father’s kin this weekend. Um, the first I’ve seen of all my Dad & Uncle’s cousins for seventeen years. They all look like grandparents now, when last I saw them they looked like mommy’s & daddy’s. It is weird. Also, all the women look like my grandmother, which makes me wistful and sad.
But I briefly bonded with two of my relatives. Aunt (cousin) Susan collects postcards and she showed me her fantastic collection of local postcards. The gathering was held at her place in the El Cerrito Hills, I’d probably been there as a small child for Christmas. I don’t remember. Her living room was filled with gorgeous artwork which brings me to cousin Richard!
When I was wee my grandmother would receive lots of postcards from Paris from Cousin Richard, and then one day she received the most amazing book, “Les Miroir Des Chats,” an extremely large format book of color photographs and paintings of cats Cousin Richard collaborated on (as photographer) with artist Leonor Fini. Over the years, and another cat book later, I became fascinated with her artwork and style. I’ve only found one print (not a cat) and had it mounted. But she’s referenced in books on women in surrealism and the works of Georges Batailles. Madame Fini passed away last decade and Richard was heir to her estate. He’s also a successful artist in his own right, I clipped a blurb from Vanity Fair last year on a show he was doing in New York and gave it to my uncle.
In any case, Richard was very friendly and generous (and absolutely LOVED the wine I brought. Score!) but he was defacto co-host of the gathering, so no time for chatting aside from an enthusiastic invite to Paris and an exchange of addresses.
Leonor Fini’s Gallery in Paris. More info on Madame Fini, and more. A couple years ago there was zero info on the web about Fini, and now there is tons.
Le Couronnement de la Bienheureuse Féline, 1974
Oh yeah. My sloppy segue. There were four or five original Madame Fini drawings in Aunt Susan’s living room. *swooon!*