Leonor Anthony is a multidisciplinary artist and activist based in Miami, Florida, with studios in both Miami and The Hague, Netherlands. Born in Havana Cuba, she immigrated to the United States with her family as a young child. She is an accredited scholar, artist, photographer and published author. Leonor Anthony is world-renowned for her courageous use of materials and by creating works that invoke controversial issues.
She is recognized for using art as a vehicle of activism. She explores limitless styles, materials and unprecedented assertiveness, characterized by violently expressive color and jarring compositions. Through these elements, Leonor is able to bring awareness to issues ranging from immigration, women’s empowerment, and environmental preservation; the imagery of her art is crafted through her unflinching willingness to elicit emotional reactions. Her intense but sophisticated style is a reflection of the artist’s unending search for freedom of expression and penchant towards iconoclasm.
Dear Leonor, when we met in December at Art Miami you told me about a new project. Which one ist that?
Dear Hedi, my project for 2019 has a working title at the moment – “Up Lifting“.
This project consists of obtaining bras from as many women as possible – women of all types, color, religious beliefs, ages, socio economic status and geographycal locations, and clippingt hem together to form a giant chain. This will be a human chain of women. I intend to continue adding to this project until I have at least 1500 bras from all over the world, and displayed them in as many high visibility venues as possible.
Why are you doing this? What is/was your inspiration to do this project?
My inspiration for this project come primarily from the Womens Marches all over the world in 2017 and the enourmous power of human chains. Holding hands we become one, in unison. When we hold hands we are invinsible and powerful. The bra, who hold and lift not only our life giving breasts, but cover our hearts and make us uniquley female, an intimate garment used to hold all the women of the earth – will be used in an art installation to show our comittment to equality , freedom, empowerment and each other .
You are doing this with your friend Dr. Carol E. Damian, right? What is her part?
Dr Carol Damian is not only one oft he most exalted women in the arts in Florida but internationally. She has been instrumental in my career, and her mentorship and support are the reasons I am where I am. She is a world reknowned art historian so her role is more intellectual and behind the scenes. I wanted her to be part of it for this is also a tribute to her and an artistic example of what happens when we as women lift each other up – magic .
Can opther’s help you with this project?
Yes Please. Absolutely – by donating your bras, every woman is part of the project and contributors in the overall message. I need bras from all over the world to show our commitment to equality. We can do anything together.
What would you like to give people with this project?
The women – a seat at the table as equals, the children – inspiration (I hope), the men – a message . This is who we are. Half oft he worlds population and 100% Equal.
Did you already start?
Yes, I asked all the women in my family to bring at least one bra for our Holiday celebration without even telling them what I was going to do with them. They were amazing- I collected over 30 bras. When I told them that they were now part of a world wide project, they beamed with excitement.
I was overwhelmed by their generosity and trust.
Since then I have now collected over 150. Friends are coming to me with bags of them, it is wonderful.
The project is in full force and this is the first public announcement of it.
The fact that a fantastic woman journalist is the first one to publish it is absolutely perfect.
What are you looking forward to especially in 2019?
I am looking forward to a year of wonder, experimentation and expansiion and it has already begun… I have been named offical Art Curator of the Florida Gran Opera and will be curating and exhibiting three Operas this season.
I will be participating in three artist residencies this year . The first one in the Arctic Circle , where I will exhibit fort he first time – Up Lifting.
The next one will be in Normandy in a residency designed exclusively for Neo-Feminists, and returning to the heavenly Chateau d’Orquevaux Artist Residency in Champagne, France.
Exhibit wise, I will be participating in Art New York in May 2019 during Frieze Art Week and Miami Art Basel in December 2019.
Im exhausted already but super excited and grateful for all the opportunities and people like you Hedi, who appreciate and support the arts. All the best in the year of Wonders.
Big picture: Leonor Anthony: Artist and activist (Photo Geraldine Pavan)