IN LOVE WITH CLAY
A film by award-winning director Richard Whymark
The untold, provocative story of non-conformist Italian sculptor: Fiore De Henriquez.
At the intersection of art, gender, seduction and celebrity — a new documentary, “Fiore: In Love With Clay” examines identity, inclusion, diversity and access through one, unparalleled life
Against all odds, one young woman survived unthinkable abuse amidst Nazi Germany and emerged as a fierce artistic talent and personality, shaping her life and career like she shaped her clay. Discover a remarkable story of art, identity, gender and betrayal as told by the people Fiore de Henriquez left in her wake.
"Fiore: In Love with Clay" examines her life and her extraordinary career through the lens of history and the memories of those closest to her. Not unlike many, hers was a life spent affirming her identity and her voice.
In the 1960s, as the world was being swept away by modern art, Fiore was building a reputation as a figurative sculptor in the classical style. The young and striking Italian artist soon found herself amongst Princess Margaret's set, sculpting Her Royal Highness the Queen Mother, Igor Stravinsky, Peter Ustinov, Oprah Winfrey, Laurence Olivier, and President Kennedy among many others.
As her career exploded, she grappled with—and eventually accepted—her intersexuality. Duality became prominent in Fiore’s art, her life and her explosive love affairs. Personally, she was managing a shifting gender identity. Privately, she was forging a body of work that was visceral and sometimes surreal. Professionally, she was making her mark in a very male world.
Despite her successes, she was a woman trying to make her mark in a very male world. Artistically she was building a reputation as a figurative sculptor in a classical style, while privately forging a body of work that was visceral and even surreal. Personally, she was managing a shifting gender identity. In 2019, society at large still struggles to talk about these topics of gender identity safely and publicly; half a century ago the subject was almost unheard of.
Having premiered internationally at the Trieste International Film Festival 2017 and following a sold-out, American premiere in Austin, Texas, the 79-minute documentary film is now available for streaming on Amazon or via DVD. “Fiore” has been picked up for international distribution by acclaimed academic media publisher, Alexander Street, and is currently booking screenings and talks in select cities leading up to Fiore de Henriquez’s centennial in 2021.
Ultimately, she died in 2004 like she lived: a woman out of her time, in the Tuscan village she saved and transformed into an arts centre, Peralta.