Niki de Saint Phalle

Niki de Saint Phalle, born in 1930, was a French artist best known for her sculpted female figures she refers to as Nanas. Her colorful, patterned, and crafted art pieces found in various shapes and sizes is to resemble her feminist spirit. Saint Phalle was a part of the Nouveau Réalisme movement where she worked alongside fellow artists Christo and Yves Klein. She began her artwork early on as a form of therapy and became inspired from Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi. In the early 1960s, Saint Phalle created her famous “shooting paintings” that were bags of paints in human forms covered in white plaster. The pieces were then shot at to create the finished image. After Shooting Paintings, Saint Phalle explored the various roles that women take in their lives. She created life-size dolls of them and placed them in various traditional female roles such as giving birth or being a bride. Her inspiration from Antoni Gaudi eventually led to her creation of the Il Giardino dei Tarocchi (The Tarot Garden) where one can explore the true mystical qualities of Saint Phalle’s art, of which she filled with colorful sculptures based off of Tarot card characters.


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