The beautiful Niki de Saint Phalle made a mark on everyone’s mind. 85 years ago, the artist was born in Neuilly-sur-Seine in France. First being a model, Niki de Saint Phalle realized soon enough that a world of appearances would not suit her. Her work is imbued with the real conviction that the world has to change.
“I wanted to make some of the really important things of my generation and some of the biggest.”
The artist had the soul of a warrior. She was born to fight. To fight against every single unfairness she sadly noticed. Women vs Men, Black vs White, AIDS… Her pieces of art are more than just colorful, feminine and aesthetic (and sometimes they are not, like Heads of State or La Mariée); it is her way to express her ideas, her way to deliver a strong message of tolerance. It was also a way to exorcise her pains and to overcome her schizophrenia.
“Painting calmed the chaos that shook my soul.”
We usually require pretty girls to “be beautiful but to shut up”. Niki de Saint Phalle chose to be provocative and violent (Tir), and to make room for women (Nanas). Dazed Digital said “Saint Phalle always created art that was a slap in the face of the modernist asethetic.” Her art is indeed daring. She raised her voice at a time when most women were not listened and not taken seriously (well, the fight is certainly not over).
“I could do whatever I wanted, whether people liked it or not.”
Niki de Saint Phalle has helped to change mindsets, and for that, she diserves a tribute. Niki, Happy Birthday!