This is a preview of our feature on Marina Fini in upcoming issue 14.
Marina Fini’s aesthetic is potent. Through color, light, and energy, her installations, or healing spaces, offer relief from reality and the fallacies that attach to it: “These worlds create peace in my mind and in other people’s minds. I feel like there’s a lot of darkness and evil in the world, and I try to combat it by creating hyper-fantasy.”
“Goddessphere,” a feminist strip-club concept she created for Art Basel in 2016, visualized what a strip club might look like if a woman or a queer person owned it, and how that would change the experience. “It was the whole idea of what does a strip club hold space for, and how can it be flipped on its head. Because everybody should be accepted into the club.” The installation was shut down twice. Her recent LA installation “Lyrics to Life,” a collaboration with Genius and Dropbox, inspired by Radiohead’s “Creep,” was fucking rad: a rainbow enclosure beneath neon door beads, and a metallic floor garnished with healing stones and colorful iMacs and iBooks containing Fini’s personal files, through which onlookers were able to creep into Fini’s digital existence. Fini crept on her creepers through hidden cameras. A transparent reality would be nice, but at least we have Marina Fini.
If you had one “signature” outfit (like a cartoon character) what would your cartoon outfit be?
Definitely bell bottoms. Platforms. Crop top, faux fur jacket. Butterfly clips. Sunglasses—big sunglasses. Big earrings, big rings. Choker. Giant accessories are really important—more than anything.
I wear a lot of my own pieces, but I also collect other people’s pieces. I’m always on the hunt for large jewelry and crystals. I love really weird chokers. I do costume jobs and styling jobs and photo jobs together. People will hire me to dress and shoot, which means I have a fun visual closet.
You grew up in and around Hollywood, right?
My dad works in television, so I grew up on set with him. He worked on Power Rangers when I was little, and I got to be part of that world, which was really exciting.
Then I went to college for film production, studied a lot of theory and it totally broke down my whole reality of what I grew up in. It made me feel like I could be myself for the first time because Santa Cruz is very accepting. I had a lot of support and change within the shift in myself, and in my art—it just broke down all of these different barriers that I had grown up with: vanity, ego-driven people and what people want as make-ability in film. For me, all of the film and photography work that I want to put out there, I want to give people a voice—people that are under-represented, or misheard, or not shown enough. I’m all about inclusivity and diversity as much as possible. Creating a platform to help empower others and feel like they can be themselves is something that I really strive for in everything that I do.
I’m all about creating a place where queer voices and gender-fluid people and anyone, really, can express themselves. Creating safe spaces with my installation work is important to me—creating a happy place where there can be unity. Rainbows are my life. Spreading rainbows, and helping people feel like they can be activated with rainbows because we are all rainbows because our bodies are made of them. They exist in nature and can create a beautiful sense of peace between anyone and any walk of life, no matter what language you speak. It’s like a sunset: it spreads a beautiful language that can act as a really great activation for spreading light and making people feel happy.
How often are your installations permanent?
Up until last July, my shows were a day or two, maybe. Then, last July, I had my first two-week exhibit, which was a really big deal for me—it was the largest space I’d ever done.
I’m trying to invest in a space that I can continuously build onto. I really want to make a permanent motel; like an art motel with maybe ten rooms, and each room has a different theme. I also want to open up a vegan restaurant that is an art installation, but, we’re feeding you. I’m really passionate about nourishing people with food, and one of my best friends is a vegan chef, so we’re going to be collaborating on that eventually. After doing so many installations in the last few years, I’ve been learning a lot about business, and about things that I don’t want to do and that I want to avoid. I really like the idea of people coming to visit, because I get so many emails from people saying, Is this still up? I’d like to have something where people can visit from any place, and sleep in it or just have fun.
For more from Marina Fini follow her on Instagram: @marinafini.
Photography by Una Blue.