If you live in San Diego you are likely to have heard of the French-born artist Niki de Saint Phalle, but perhaps not if you live elsewhere. She was a prolific multi-media international artist of note for many years, however she spent the last year’s of her life here in La Jolla, CA. Because of this, many of her larger scale public works have landed in this region making her synonymous with public art in this city. I have to admit I have never been a super fan despite her obviously colorful chosen palette. I had found it somewhat juvenile at first glance and mostly overlooked her work until I got to see more of her range of medium and dug deeper into her life and inspirations. She was outspoken in addressing important religious, political, health, race, gender, climate change, and other cultural issues of the time. She also pushed the boundaries of performance art vs. visual art such as shooting at her canvases to create abstract works. I now see her work not only monumental and full of imagination, but also immersive, fun and fantastical. I decided to shoot with the public art piece Serpent Tree created by the artist in 1990. I had never closely investigated this work before, but this ten headed snake glitters brilliantly in the sun down at Waterfront Park. I cannot believe I had overlooked such a polychromatic piece for so long. There’s really no better time than now to explore the breadth of this artist’s work locally. Many of her large-scale sculptures have recently been refurbished and rehomed in public parks all over the city, in addition to the many that have had long term homes in public spaces. You can also experience her other medium in two recently opened exhibitions at major art institutions in town. See below for how you can spend your Spring immersing yourself in her work:

Best Places to See Niki’s work in San Diego:

Featured Art Piece: Serpent Tree” by Niki de Saint Phalle at Waterfront Park, San Diego
All Photos: Bauman Photographers
Dress: Leblon London

One Reply to “Niki de Saint Phalle ”

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