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Niki de Saint Phalle, or claim a feminist self-taught artist at the Grand Palais

Niki de Saint Phalle, or claim a feminist self-taught artist at the Grand Palais

Niki de Saint Phalle in Los Angeles, 1962

Catherine Marie-Agnes Fal de Saint Phalle (1930-2002), known as Niki, is one of the visual artists, painters, sculptors and the most talented and popular of the twentieth century Franco-American directors. From an early age, she wants to break away from the straight path by his aristocratic family, the good wife discreet and distant, like her mother. An image that strongly rejects : « I will not be like you, mother. You agreed that you had been sent by your parents: religion, gender roles, ideas about society and security. « Instead, she dreams of heroin in female act to follow, « Who would I be? George Sand? Joan of Arc? Napoleon in petticoats? ». Still, just 19, she married the future writer Harry Mathews and began painting his first oils and gouaches, complete autodidact. Artistic activity « calmed the chaos that shook my soul. It was a way to tame the dragons have always arisen in my work, « she confided. Chaos that comes from his childhood after being raped by her father at the age of 11 years. In 1952, after the birth of her first child, Laura, the Mathews family left the United States and settled in Paris. Nikki de Saint Phalle separated from her husband in 1960 and moved with Jean Tingueley, his artistic partner.

She participated in her first shooting session where you have to shoot a rifle on concealed beneath the plaster and pop the bags of colors hidden under the plaster, splatter on the table. A technique she loves violence and she commented :« I had the chance to meet the art because I had on a psychological level, all it takes to become a terrorist. Instead, I used the rifle for a good cause, that of art ».

Committed feminist, Niki de Saint Phalle made ​​women the main subject of his works, including sculptures in papier mache and wool and resin and painted plaster. She sculpts Goddesses, Births and Nanas. These, colorful and generous body, both joyful and powerful, embody a new world where women hold the power. The artist creates the greatest Nana entitled Hon (« She » in Swedishfor Modena Museet in Stockholm. Niki de Saint Phalle « the time has come for a new matriarchal society. You think people would continue to die of hunger if women in mixed? Women who give birth, have the function of giving life I can not help thinking they could make a world in which I would be happy to live».

More : www.grandpalais.fr/fr/evenement/niki-de-saint-phalle

By Mistoura Yessoufou.



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